School Closings & Delays: What to Expect this Winter

Despite the warmer-than-normal weather this November, Bentley Schools has been preparing for the approaching winter season by reviewing our school closing procedures. Area administrators take making the decision to delay or close school very seriously, and a lot of thought and organization goes into making the call to close school.

Decision Making
So who makes the decision to close? The Superintendent makes the final decision but with input from many people. Early in the morning—or even the previous evening depending on weather predictions—  the bus garage operator, area officials, and other local superintendents are consulted about the safety of the roads. Several of these people will drive through the area to assess the danger.

Factors such a depth of snow, icing, road/sidewalk conditions, wind chill, and visibility are considered.  If these conditions are found to be dangerous to those traveling to school, the superintendent will make the call to cancel or delay school.

While it can be a nuisance to schedules, decisions are made for the safety of students and staff. Keep in mind that students may walk to school, drive to school or ride the bus to school. All of these factors are taken into account when making this decision.

Also,  not all area schools will close, though some may independently determine closing is in the best interest of their students. Each district is different. Some districts include back roads that may not be plowed on time or highways that present dangerous driving situations. If a district has a large population of students that walk to school, they may need to close for different reasons than districts that don’t have this issue.

Bentley, for example, is a small district that has many students walking to school or driving on the highway. Our students’ safety is the number one priority, and we will take this into consideration when making the decision to close.

Closing Alerts

The latest a decision will be made is 5:45 am . By this time, the local media will be alerted to the closing or delay of Bentley Community Schools.

A School Messenger call will be sent to all families alerting them of the closing or delay. If you do not currently receive these calls, please contact your student’s office to make sure you are on the phone list.

A posting will be immediately made on our social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. 

The following news station will broadcast closing information for Bentley:

  • WEYI: TV25/CW46
  • WJRT: TV12
  • WNEM: TV5
  • WSMH: Fox 66

The following radio stations will also include the information:

  • WDZZ 92.7
  • WFBE 95.1
  • WTRX 1330AM
  • WWCK-AM 1570
  • WWCK-FM 105.5
  • WRSR 103.9

Weather Information

The National Weather Service has prepared a brochure to explain the Wind Chill Temperature Index.

Preparing Our Children

The National Weather Service has some tips on how to dress during cold weather. These tips are helpful to children playing outside, either at home or at school:

  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Trapped air between the layers will insulate you.
  • Coats should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded.
  • Wear a hat. 40% of body heat can be lost from your head.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from the extreme cold.
  • Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
  • Try to stay dry and out of the wind.

It is also a good time to review and practice safe driving techniques with our new, teenage drivers. The Michigan County Road Commission compiled this helpful list for teens and parents preparing to drive in the winter season.

To ensure the safety of our students, we will keep you updated about closing information as soon as possible.  If you have any concerns or questions, please contact your building principal by phone or email.

 

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