You’ve probably heard the many different tricks about how to get a snow day – old fables like sleeping with your pajamas on inside out, flushing ice cubes down the toilet and placing a spoon under your pillow – and you probably have a few tricks of your own.
So, what will happen if these wishful snow practices come true and school is either delayed or canceled due to inclement weather? Metro Schools has a multi-tiered process in place to ensure all parents, families and students are well aware of any changes to the regular school day. As we turn the corner into an unpredictable Tennessee winter, it’s time to review our inclement weather policy.
Student safety is the district’s primary concern and is the only priority in situations of inclement weather. In the event of inclement weather that causes a delay or a cancellation:
- We’ll update social media and our website. Follow us on Twitter @metroschools and like our MNPS Facebook Page for immediate updates. Our website, www.mnps.org, will also be updated with information about delays or closings. Social media gives the district the ability to quickly share information, so make sure you’re following along!
- You’ll get a phone call. Parents, families and staff will receive a phone call with any delay or cancellation information. If MNPS chooses to close school during the overnight hours, parents and families will receive phone calls early the next morning – maybe even before your alarm clock goes off! Make sure your information is updated and accurate to ensure you get that first phone call.
- Keep an eye on the news. MNPS also reports any delays or closures to all local media stations during the 5 a.m. hour so they can keep you informed during the morning hours, as well.
Altering the school schedule has multiple impacts, including to families’ schedules and childcare arrangements, students who rely on school meals and employees’ work schedules and pay. However, safety is always the first priority. The decision about whether or not to call an inclement weather day is made based on the recommendation of our transportation staff who evaluate information from multiple agencies and MNPS’ own snow patrol members who drive roads throughout Davidson County evaluating travel conditions during winter weather. MNPS provides school bus transportation to more than 50,000 students every day – the decision to call an inclement weather day is based on whether or not road conditions are safe across the entire county. The district does not make the decision to close, delay or dismiss early lightly.
It’s not just the school day that’s impacted by inclement weather. After-school activities are also canceled when school is canceled due to weather – even if conditions improve later in the day. This includes athletic practices, games, performances, parent meetings, etc., but does not include TSSAA playoff games and tournaments. Independent after-school providers are responsible for notifying their families regarding their alternate schedule and closure.
MNPS has five inclement weather days built into this year’s calendar. Any additional days missed would be rescheduled.
On June 21, Metro Schools will host its second annual Excellence in Early Education Summit to highlight best practices in early childhood education, and to give participants access to resources to enhance pre-K educational programs. Mayor Megan Barry, a long-time supporter of early education, and Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph will speak at the event.
In the last two years under Dr. Joseph’s leadership, the district has increased its investment in pre-K programs. Research affirms that pre-K educational programs put students on the path to school success. Youngsters who are enrolled in pre-K programs are nearly four times more likely to do better in school when they have a solid educational foundation heading into kindergarten. Currently, MNPS serves more than 3,000 pre-K students with many of the available pre-K seats for economically disadvantaged children. MNPS’s pre-K program gives children of all income levels access to high-quality, project- and play-based instruction with highly trained early childhood education teachers.
Thanks to a federal preschool development grant, the district added 440 new seats to the pre-K program last year. The grant also funds the work of family involvement specialists who are dedicated to strengthening school-to-home communication. The family involvement specialists link parents to valuable district and community resources, teach workshops about kindergarten readiness and have developed a host of resources – all available online – to help parents support the academic readiness and success of their young children during critical formative years.
Check out these free resources:
- Summer Activity Guide (Available in English, Spanish & Arabic)
- iTrails/Countdown to Kindergarten Website
- Kindergarten Readiness Tip Sheet
- Metro Summer Resource List – List of local free/low cost summer programs event around Metro Nashville for families.
- Kindergarten Transition Timeline