Dear Gahanna-Jefferson families,
As winter approaches, I want to provide information about the process we use to make decisions regarding closing school for inclement weather. There is no absolute formula for deciding to close school or stay open. Weather conditions can progress from mild to severe quickly, but we will do our best to inform you of a school closing as soon as we possibly can.
When deciding to close school, we consider the following factors:
Snow and ice
- Are the roads safe to drive?
- Can students walk to school or their bus stops safely?
Temperature and wind chill
Using the National Weather Service wind chill chart as a guide for exposure time:
- Are wind chill temperatures too cold for students to walk to and stand at bus stops?
- Are wind chill temperatures too cold for students to walk to school?
Building conditions and parking lots
- Are the building temperatures within normal range?
- What is the condition of our parking lots?
- Are the walkways and entrances safely accessible?
Even though weather forecasting technology has improved a great deal over the years, it is not an exact science. Sometimes forecasts are off, and we will do our best to gather all the information available to us to make a prudent decision. We consider student safety first and foremost, and we will make our decision based on their best interests.
At approximately 4:15 a.m., a team of district leaders begins the process of making a decision concerning our ability to safely conduct school. We begin by driving different routes and areas of our district, covering the majority of district roads (including roads which have large hills, curves or exposure to drifting.) Our purpose is to determine if it is safe to have buses and student drivers on the road, and if conditions are safe for students who walk to school. Fortunately, we have outstanding service from the City of Gahanna and Jefferson Township road crews, who work through the night to clear and salt roads for morning commutes. We analyze weather reports and updates from the Gahanna Police to make a decision by 5:30 a.m.
On days we decide to close school, we will use our email messenger system to inform you, as well as post the information on our
and social media channels (
.) The following media outlets will be notified: WTVN, WCOL (FM & AM/WJFX), WCLT, WKRZ, WMNI-AM, WUFM, WCMH NBC4, WBNS 10TV, WSYX ABC6, WTTE FOX28 and The Columbus Dispatch.
Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools