Inclement Weather: Making the Call at MRH
When the temperature becomes extremely low, MRH must strike a balance between a desire to have students in class and our pledge to keep them safe. While MRH will occasionally consult with nearby districts during inclement weather, the decisions we make are entirely our own based on the characteristics and conditions within our school community.
Because of the geographic size of the district, MRH students enjoy relatively brief rides to school and brief waits at bus stops. Those who walk to school typically are outdoors for 15 minutes or less. On top of that, the cities of Maplewood and Richmond Heights have impressive track records of thorough snow removal from streets.
Appropriately layered clothing, along with limiting time outdoors, should protect against the elements. This includes coats, gloves, hats and footwear. If your child normally walks to school, please consider arranging for a ride. At bus stops, some parents may want to wait with their child in the car until the bus arrives.
We want to assure families that our classrooms and buses are warm. When cold weather is imminent, MRH Transportation staff conduct mechanical and safety checks to ensure smooth engine starts. No bus departs our parking lot until it is sufficiently warm inside.
Indoors, our thermostats are programmed to ensure classrooms are comfortable.
The safety of your child is our paramount concern, every day of the year, no matter what type of weather we’re experiencing.
One option for addressing inclement weather is opening on a snow schedule. If the weather or road conditions are not severe enough to warrant cancellation, but problematic enough to cause delays, this option will give students and staff additional time to get to school without having to use a full snow day.
Option 1 – Snow Day/School Closed
- All schools (ECC, Elementary, Middle and High) are closed, including Discover Club.
- Buses do not run.
- Before-school activities are canceled.
- Administrators and other 12-month staff should report to work as soon as possible unless there is a declaration of "district closed."
- Teachers, food service, nurses, and others do not report to work.
- After-school activities will be canceled unless otherwise noted.
Option 2 – Snow Schedule/Late Start
- When a snow schedule/late start is announced, starting times for all schools will be one hour and 30 minutes later than normal (students may begin arriving at school 15 minutes prior to the late start time). School will start:
ECC: 9:30 a.m.
Elementary School: 9:00 a.m.
Middle School: 10:00 a.m.
High School: 10:00 a.m.
- Buses will run one hour and 30 minutes later in the morning but leave school at their regular afternoon time.
- All staff report as soon as possible. Instructional staff report one hour later than their regular start time.
- Breakfast will NOT be served.
- Before school Discover Club will NOT be provided at the ECC or Elementary (afternoon Discover Club will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- All after-school meetings, programs, sports practices and activities will proceed as scheduled unless additional inclement weather causes the District to cancel after school and evening activities/programs at some point during the day.
Announcement of a Snow Day (closed) or Snow Schedule (late start)
Should the decision to close schools or open on a snow schedule be made, it is usually made prior to 5:00 a.m., at which point the following actions will take place (in this order):
- An e-blast will be sent to all MRH staff.
- An automated phone call will be sent to all families and staff members
- Posts will be made on the District, Middle, and High School Facebook accounts.
- A notice will be posted on the home page of this website
- Tweets will be sent from the District, Early Childhood Center, Elementary, Middle and High School Twitter accounts.
- The media below will be alerted:
Radio: KMOX AM 1120
Television: KTVI TV Channel 2 (FOX), KMOV TV Channel 4 (CBS), KSDK TV Channel 5 (NBC), KPLR TV Channel 11.
Web: www.mrhschools.net and 40 South News
It is important to check the above options to find out if school is closed or on a snow schedule. Please do not call the schools or Central Office.
Please note: Depending on last-minute changes in the weather (i.e.: storm track, amount of precipitation, temperature), faster than anticipated deterioration of road conditions, etc., the normal time of a 5:00 a.m. decision may be altered.
Other Emergency Situations
While we try not to close school early due to weather-related concerns, there could be other emergency situations where parents/guardians are asked to pick up students early from school. Every family should have a plan for picking up children from school in such a situation. We also ask that you make sure you have provided your child’s school with information on all adults who are authorized to pick up your child at school. If necessary, due to safety concerns, students will be kept at school until they are picked up by an adult who has previously been identified on the emergency contact form that parents are asked to complete at the beginning of each school year.
Even though they might not apply in every emergency or inclement weather situation, here are a few other considerations that we encourage parents and guardians to keep in mind:
- Please do not telephone your child’s school. We will share all necessary information and updates via the District’s parent “robocall” notification system, posted on the District’s website, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.
- Resist the urge to reach your child by cell phone. Depending on the situation, attempting to contact your child may put him/her at further risk. More importantly, cell towers have a fixed capacity and cell phone lines will be needed for emergency communication.
- Consider that you may need to use an alternate route to get to school, or your child may need to use an alternate route to get home depending on the nature of the emergency. Increased traffic or road conditions or closures could obstruct your normal route to and from school.