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School delay, cancellation procedures laid out ahead of winter weather

Officials are letting parents know, "winter is coming," and it pays off to prepare for problematic weather.

Last winter's snowfall prompted several closures and delays throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Columbia Public Schools recorded five cancelations, five delays and one early release because of inclement weather in the 2018-2019 year, according to district spokesperson Michelle Baumstark.

"It was a tough winter," she said in an email.

The last time there were more cancelations was the 2013-2014 school year, when eight days were called for weather. Baumstark said the district didn't start using two-hour delays until the following school year.

CPS sent out an annual message outline winter weather procedures to families on Wednesday.

"School will be cancelled or a 2-hour delayed start implemented only after roads are tested. Should cancellation, a 2-hour delayed start or altered bus routes be necessary, efforts will be made to notify radio and television stations by 6 a.m. Information will also be sent via the district's parent messaging system, posted on the district’s website and on CPS-TV."

Michelle Baumstark, CPS Community Relations Director

Parents and families can also stay updated on district decisions by ensuring that CPS has good contact information. Even if class is in session in bad weather, the parent can make a different call.

"If the parent views the weather too severe or road conditions too dangerous, absences will be excused," Baumstark said.

There are built-in snow days set in the school calendar to make up for missed class. Click here for the 2019-2020 CPS calendar.

The Jefferson City School District also uses cancelations, delays and changes in bus routes to accommodate for snow, ice and other hazards.

For information on JCSD bus routes, click here.

The University of Missouri uses Weather Alerts to inform its students and staff of weather-related announcements.

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Barry Mangold

Barry Mangold reports for ABC 17 News on weekday evenings and anchors weekend evening broadcasts.


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