“We are in the business of holding school, so as long as conditions are safe, we will hold school.” That’s what Dr. Harry Bull, superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, told members of Parents’ Council during their meeting on Oct. 13. “However, I encourage you, as parents, to make the best decision for your family. If you decide to keep your children home, they will be excused.”
Bull explained that when schools are open, he can guarantee that more than 54,000 students have a warm place to spend the day, with adult supervision and the opportunity to have a healthy meal (or two, if they eat school breakfast and lunch). He can’t make that guarantee if schools are closed.
“We want our students in school whenever possible,” added Bull. “But if we determine conditions are not safe for students and staff, we will cancel classes.”
The district has a detailed procedure for determining weather delays and closures:
• The district receives ongoing weather forecasts from AccuWeather and NOAA.
• If extreme weather is forecast, the superintendent, assistant superintendent of Facility Support and Transportation staff members begin driving the district in quadrants, starting at 3 a.m.
• Beginning at 3:30 a.m. area drivers report conditions to the transportation director.
• The director contacts neighboring districts to share information and probable recommendations.
• The forecast is reviewed.
• Before 4:30 a.m. the director shares information and discusses potential recommendations with the superintendent and assistant superintendent.
• The superintendent reviews all available information and makes the final decision.
• If a delay or cancellation is appropriate, families will receive an automated phone call no later than 6 a.m. The Weather Hotline, 720-554-4701, is updated and notifications are sent to local media agencies and posted on the district website.
• In rare cases it is possible for the district to make a decision the evening prior. When that happens, families will be notified between 9 and10 p.m.
The delayed start schedule is as follows:
• HIGH SCHOOL bus pickup and school start times are delayed ½ hour (30 minutes).
• ELEMENTARY SCHOOL bus pickup and school start times are delayed 1 hour (60 minutes).
• MIDDLE SCHOOL bus pickup and school start times are delayed 1 hour (60 minutes).
• CHALLENGE SCHOOL start time is delayed 1 hour (60 minutes).
• I-TEAM programs start times are delayed ½ hour (30 minutes).
• ENDEAVOR ACADEMY and JOLIET LEARNING CENTER bus pickup and school start times are delayed 1 hour (60 minutes).
• OUT-OF-DISTRICT PROGRAMS bus pickup and school start times are delayed 1 hour (60 minutes).
• VOCATIONAL bus pickup and school start time is delayed 1 hour (60 minutes)
• EXPULSION program operates on a normal schedule
• PRESCHOOL (AM only) NO bus transportation to or from school - school start times are delayed 1 hour (60 minutes)
• KINDERGARTEN (AM Take-Home ONLY) buses will depart school at their regular times.
• MID-DAY KINDERGARTEN buses will pick up at their regular times.
• BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL DAY CARE programs operate on a normal schedule.
• FACILITY SHUTTLES ARE CANCELLED.
Afternoon dismissal times will be the same as usual for all schools unless otherwise announced.
During the school day a decision will be made concerning after-school athletics and activities. Before and after school care will continue as normally scheduled.
In the case of a closure, all school programs including before and after school care are cancelled.