MSD Decatur Families,
MSD of Decatur Township continues to prioritize Student Learning, Safety and Customer Service as part of our district Mission. The safety of our students remains our top priority.
As you know, Indiana weather is extremely unpredictable so please review the information below regarding factors that may impact school delays and closings.
- Freezing Rain/Sleet: The most unpredictable weather variable is freezing rain/sleet. Freezing rain/sleet is temperature sensitive and fast-occurring. It begins and ends with little notice. When freezing rain/sleet are predicted, the decision regarding school is delayed until the latest possible time in an effort to observe the most current and local conditions. Such a decision generally will be made in the morning.
- Snowfall: Much more predictable than freezing rain/sleet. Meteorologists generally give a 2 inch variable when predicting snow accumulation. Because the variation in actual snowfall, when compared to predicted snowfall, the decision regarding school status is delayed until the snow accumulation indicates a need for action. Such a decision, except in extreme situations, will generally be made in the morning.
- Extreme Cold: Temperature prediction is increasingly accurate. MSD Decatur Township uses the hourly temperature predictions for its zip code from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov). If air temperature is predicted by NOAA to be -10 degrees or below (the starting point for wind chill concerns with calm wind) at 7:00 a.m. the school will consider a two hour delay for the start of school. If the air temperature is predicted to remain at -10 degrees or below at 9:00 a.m. the school will consider closing. Such a determination will be made as early as possible, perhaps the evening before, but certainly by 6:00 a.m. in the morning.
- Extreme Wind Chill: Wind chill prediction is not as accurate as temperature prediction because wind speed is more variable by time and location. While NOAA observations and predictions are based upon the open conditions of the Indianapolis Airport, these conditions are often different in some of the wind barricaded neighborhoods of MSD Decatur Township. If wind chill is predicted by NOAA to be -19 degrees or below and local wind conditions are predicted to mirror the airport wind conditions at 7:00 a.m., the school will consider a two hour delay for the start of school. If the wind chill is predicted to remain at -19 degrees or below and local conditions mirror the airport wind conditions at 9:00 a.m., the school will consider closing. The variability of wind speed will likely cause this decision to be made in the morning.
Communication about school delays and closings will be sent to all parents via School Messenger, our district notification system. Phone calls are scheduled as early as 6:00 am. Decaturproud.org, the district Facebook page, the district app and twitter account will also provide up to date delay and closing information.
MSD of Decatur Township respects a parent’s determination regarding their child’s attendance at school during inclement weather. If school is open, or delayed, because of inclement weather, the school will respect the parent’s decision to keep their child at home. Parents are expected to contact the school and inform school officials of their determination. The student will be counted as absent, per state code, and students will be given an opportunity to complete their academic work in the same manner as an excused absence from school.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents day will continue to be snow make-up days. Should school be cancelled prior to the designated make-up holiday, parents may be given notice of two weeks or less that school will be in session. If additional makeup days are needed they will be added to the end of the school calendar.
We hope this information assists you in better understanding the process that we utilize to make the safest decision for your children. Thank you for your cooperation!