Bad Weather Procedures: What Parents Should Know
Lake Travis Independent School District officials take into consideration several factors before a decision is made to delay school, dismiss school early, or cancel school during periods of inclement weather. These primary factors include:
- The health, safety and welfare of students;
- The transportation of students from home to school and back; and
- The disruption caused when school starts late, dismisses early or is cancelled.
Delays, Cancellations and Early Releases – How Decisions are Made
The following steps are taken when inclement weather occurs during the overnight/early morning hours and threatens the start of school:
- The District’s Director of Transportation will determine the driving conditions of roadways within the District.
- The information is then shared with the Superintendent of Schools, who in turn, confers with City of Austin/Travis County emergency management officials, law enforcement officials, local meteorologists, and officials with neighboring school districts.
- The Superintendent of Schools will then make a decision as early as possible of the day in question whether or not to delay or cancel school. When conditions warrant, the decision to delay or cancel school will be made the evening before the next school day. Please note, announcements will not be made when schools will maintain their regularly scheduled hours.
- If students are already present in school and weather conditions worsen during the day, a decision for early release will be considered.
The Communication Process – What Happens Next
When a decision is made to delay school, dismiss school early or cancel school, the District’s Director of Communications will first notify parents using the SchoolMessenger parent notification system. Parents will receive a combination of automated phone messages, emails and/or text messages depending on the circumstances. Parent or guardian contact information provided at the time a new student is enrolled—or when a parent or guardian updates his/her contact information during the back-to-school returning student process each summer—will automatically be used for notifications through the SchoolMessenger system. However, parents must indicate their willingness to receive text messages. If you haven’t already done so, subscribing to text messaging is simple and only takes a few seconds to complete:
- Send a text message to 68453
- In the body of the message, type: yes
- Send the message.
The automated phone message, email and text message notification system is just one method Lake Travis ISD uses to inform parents of changes to the instructional day caused by inclement weather. Parents are advised to also check the Lake Travis ISD website, as well as each campus website, for detailed information. District officials will attempt to post information in Spanish when possible.
Information about school delays, early dismissal or school closures will also be communicated through the following media, including but not limited to:
- Lake Travis ISD Facebook Fan page: www.facebook.com/ltisdschools
- Lake Travis ISD Twitter: @ltisdschools
- Local television stations: KTBC (FOX-TV), KVUE (ABC-TV), KXAN (NBC-TV), KEYE (CBS-TV),Univision, Telemundo, and TWC Austin (Time Warner Cable)
- Local newspapers: The Austin American Statesman, The Lake Travis View and Community Impact Newspaper
- Local radio stations: KLBJ (590 AM) and KUT (90.5 FM)
Impact on Student Services, Child Care & After School Activities
When a decision is made to delay school due to inclement weather, bus pick-up times will also be delayed. The opening of the District’s Child Development Center will be delayed accordingly. Once classes begin, students at each campus will be offered a ‘grab and go’ breakfast and lunch will be served under modified schedules according to individual campus needs. Student dismissal and bus runs will occur at regularly-scheduled times. Additionally,the District’s after school Extended Care program will operate under normal hours (4:30 and 6:00 p.m. pick up times).
When a decision is made to dismiss school early, transportation services and after school activities may be impacted, including the District’s after school Extended Care program. Parents may opt to pick up their child from school as conditions warrant.
When a decision is made to cancel classes, students should not report to school. All previously-scheduled school day events, activities, field trips, etc. will be cancelled accordingly. The District’s Child Development Centers and the District’s Extend Care program will also be closed.
Athletics and other district-sponsored events scheduled after school hours may or may not be impacted by the cancellation of school. Parents are urged to confirm events in question with the respective coaches and sponsors for official information and details. Information will also be posted directly on the websites of those respective programs.
As students prepare to return for the next regularly-scheduled instructional day, parents are encouraged to visit specific campus websites for possible changes related to class/bell schedules and other campus-specific announcements.
As a reminder, when classes are cancelled, students are expected to make up the day (also known as a ‘Bad Weather Make-Up Day’) and attend school in accordance with the current year LTISD instructional calendar.
-updated January 2015