Posted by Dr. Mark Holodick at 1/22/2016
Dear BSD Community,
Now that the first storm of the season is approaching, I thought it would be helpful to share some information about how decisions are made with respect to opening school during inclement weather. Assistant Superintendent Dorrell Green, Facilities Supervisor John Read, Transportation Supervisor Rob Harding, and several other staff members are on the roads, in neighborhoods, and on school properties before, during, and after each storm. They analyze the conditions and provide me with valuable information. In addition, we work with other state agencies such as the Department of Transportation, Department of Education, and Delaware State Police, as well as our neighboring New Castle County school districts to make the most informed decisions possible when determining if and when to open schools.
Once a decision has been made to close schools or open on a delayed schedule, our Public Information Officer Alexis Andrianopoulos handles the communication responsibilities. If you want the most updated information available, always check the BSD website first, especially the yellow box on the homepage. That is the first place we update, followed by the BSD Facebook page, Twitter feeds, state school closing website, and finally local media such as WDEL, WJBR, and Philadelphia tv stations. While Ms. Andrianopoulos is doing that, I am creating the AlertNow message to go out to all families and staff as quickly as possible. Finally, we send out an email notification to all subscribers to the Brandywine Briefings newsletter. (Subscribe by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.) You can also receive a text notification through Twitter, even if you don’t have a Twitter account. Simply text the words Follow @BSDalerts to 40404, and you’ll be subscribed to receive texts.
If you are unsure what the conditions will bring in the morning and whether or not we will have school, I encourage you to simply refresh the BSD website to see what’s in the yellow box, as it will contain the most up-to-date information. I typically try to make a decision about school closing by 5 or 5:30 a.m., although it can vary a bit depending on the storm.
Because this first storm is occurring over a weekend, I will be able to make a decision sometime Sunday about Monday’s schedule. We are not always that lucky.
Regardless of the type of storm or its timing, we make the best decision we can based on the information we have available to us. Our goal is to minimize interruptions to our school schedule; however, we must consider the safety of our children first and foremost.
Stay safe, stay warm, and thanks as always for your support and patience!
Mark A. Holodick, Ed.D.