The safety of all children and staff members is the first concern of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools when making decisions about closing school or dismissing early. In light of current weather reports and the possibility of severe weather, CMS is asking families to partner with the district if a decision is made to close school or dismiss early.
The following guidelines are followed by the district in making decisions related to the closing of school:
Two Hour Delay Option
This year, CMS has the option of operating with a two-hour delay.
The two-hour delay is a transportation option that affects bus drivers and students. Schools will open two hours late; the ending bell schedules do not change. All employees except bus drivers will report to work at the usual time. Each principal will develop a modified bell schedule that begins two hours later than normal and ends at the regularly-scheduled time. Principals will also work with the cafeteria manager to develop a modified lunch schedule to accommodate all students. CMS encourages families to begin making plans and adjustments for the potential two-hour delay.
The CMS Communications Department will notify the public when severe weather requires that schools close or open with a two-hour delay. No notification means schools are open. On days with closings or delays, information will be shared by 5:30 a.m. If an early dismissal is required because of severe weather, the information will be available by 1 p.m. Severe weather changes will be posted on the CMS Web site and intranet and shared with local newspapers, television and radio stations. The Communications staff will also send voice and text messages using Connect-Ed, post the information on the CMS Facebook page and notify CharMeck 311.
CMS also asks families to make sure schools have current contact information.
Severe weather in the evening/night
- If weather becomes bad during the night, the roads will be monitored by district school security and transportation officials. A decision will be made by 5 a.m. regarding the closing of school.
- The CMS Communications Department will contact local media by 5:30 a.m. regarding school closing. Families are asked to refer to local media (radio, TV and newspaper) as well as the CMS web site.
Severe weather during the school day
- If severe weather begins during the school day, a decision may be made regarding early dismissal. School officials will monitor the weather throughout the day to ensure student safety. Schools will not dismiss prior to 11:30 a.m. in order for buses to refuel following the morning routes. Bus routes will run in the same order as normally followed in the afternoon. Depending on conditions, arrival times at home may vary.
- All after school activities (athletic events, PTA meetings, tutorials) would be cancelled. The CMS After School Enrichment Program (ASEP) would not be in operation as well. Parents with children in ASEP should make plans to pick their children up from the school they attend or notify the school that their child should ride the afternoon bus they are assigned to.
Families are asked to consider the following tips in preparing for severe weather:
- Tune in to local television and radio stations as well as the CMS web site to find out if CMS schools are closed.
- Consider your child care options if school is closed for the full day.
- Consider your arrangements if school dismiss early (talk with a neighbor about checking in on your child, make plans to have an adult in the home after dismissal or ensure that your child has a key to get in the house).
- Talk with your child’s daycare provider regarding their severe weather policy.
- If you plan to pick your child up from school, make sure the school is notified in advance.
- Make sure you have proper identification to pick up your child.
- Normal school procedures must be followed in picking up children from school.
- CMS employees are reminded to refer to the CMS web site for information on school closings and severe weather procedures.