The first weather-related school closing of the year on Monday, along with bus delays last week in cold temperatures, have prompted questions on Patch about school-closing procedures in Dearborn Public Schools.
The district details the procedure in their Bylaws and Policies documents online. Here's what it says:
EMERGENCY CLOSING OF SCHOOLS, WEATHER
The process of deciding to close schools begins before 5:00 a.m. School District officials begin contacts with City Police and with the District's snow removal crews to determine the condition of roads and school properties.
That information goes to the Superintendent who makes a decision regarding whether or not schools will open that day. Not later than 6:00 a.m., the State Police are notified and the information goes out to all local TV and radio stations if schools are to be closed.
Immediately, this information is placed on the School District's Hotline. Please inform parents and staff that if they do not hear an announcement on the TV or radio, they may call the Hotline (271-8064) or tune to Cablevision Channel 19 in Dearborn.
PLEASE STRESS THAT PEOPLE SHOULD NOT CALL THE DEARBORN POLICE DEPARTMENT. THE POLICE MAY NOT EVEN HAVE THE INFORMATION ON SCHOOLS. MORE IMPORTANTLY, THEIR LINES ARE NEEDED FOR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION IN THESE BAD WEATHER SITUATIONS.
Because weather conditions change throughout the day, the cancellation of school during the day does not automatically mean that Adult Education classes will be cancelled. That decision is made by 3:00 p.m. Again the information will be available on the Hotline and Cablevision Channel 19. It will also be given to local radio stations as quickly as possible.
Parents of Dearborn Public Schools students expressed concerns on Facebook and Dearborn Patch within the past week regarding district policies for school-closing procedures.
Some parents expressed disagreement with how closings—or lack thereof—were handeld by the district.
"I would have bet a million dollars schools would have been closed today to make up for last week," commented Patch reader cmg following Monday's school closing decision. "What a waste of a day. Yes they only had a half day but still, last week they had to freeze and today they were closed for nothing."
"Dearborn Schools dropped the ball today, waiting until the very last to close the schools," added Alan Hunt on the Dearborn Patch Facebook page. "All other cities made the call at 3:00AM. Poor planning Schools!!!"
Many parents also said they were displeased with the district's automated alert system, which sends out calls to homes in the event of a school closing. A post on the Dearborn Patch Facebook page generated more than 30 responses from parents—some of whom said they didn't get the call about school closing until after 7 a.m., and others saying they received multiple repeat calls.