School Closing Information
The decision to close or delay school can be a tricky one. As a Michigan resident, you know how unpredictable our weather can be. Just as weather systems can appear without warning, there are times when weather systems predicted to appear do not. Please keep in mind that a forecast is a prediction. Even skilled meteorologists will agree that not all watches, warnings, and advisories materialize as predicted.
We recognize that closings and delays result in many families having to arrange for child care and can assure you that the decision to close or delay school is taken very seriously with safety as our first priority. If at any time you feel it is unsafe to send your child(ren) to school, you are welcome to call the school to excuse them for the day.
The decision to close or delay school...
Several factors are considered when making the decision to close or delay school. It is important to consider that the RPS district covers approximately 97 square miles, so the weather and road conditions can be significantly different from one area to the next. On any given day, we transport 5,000 to 6,000 of our approximately 7,900 students.
We monitor wind chill, wind speed, temperature and precipitation amounts.
We consult with the county road commission on road conditions and plowing schedules.
District officials monitor weather reports and talk to neighboring school districts.
Finally, district officials and staff physically drive out to several areas multiple times throughout the evening, night and morning to check road conditions.
Weather conditions can rapidly improve or decline from the time a decision is made in the early hours of the morning to the time school is scheduled to start.
Again, we do our best to make reasonable and practical decisions based on forecasts, which are sometimes accurate and sometimes not. Ultimately, the decision to close or delay school is made by the Superintendent of Schools, with every effort to make a decision by 5:30 am.
Once students are in school, it is only in extreme cases the district would dismiss early due to weather, mainly due to the fact that many of our younger students could potentially go home to an empty house. However, in the rare case of an early dismissal, this will be posted on TV and the district website, and parents will be notified via the district’s automated School Messenger system and/or the school phone tree.
Occasionally when road conditions deteriorate during the day, a decision is made to dismiss students up to one-half hour early to allow buses additional travel time so students arrive home at their regularly scheduled time.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your school principal, or the Superintendent’s office at 616.863.6557.
Morning closings and delays are posted on the district website and local TV/radio stations, with several stations offering notification options such as text or email alerts (see link in upper left).