Clear moon, frost soon!

By RANDY FULLER / Guest Columnist
Long before meteorologists had technology to help them predict the weather, forecasts were based on observations of nature, animals, and the sky.  Many of the traditional sayings that were used can be found in The Farmer’s Almanac.  Sayings such as “clear moon, frost soon” means that the night is clear enough to see the moon and if the temperature drops, frost will form.  We can be sure to expect a chilly morning!
As winter begins to make itself felt, we would like to encourage parents and families by reviewing how the Shelby County School system makes decisions concerning school closings, delayed openings, and other changes resulting from inclement weather. We take seriously the importance of these decisions and place student safety as the highest priority.  This process applies to delayed openings as well as dismissals.
The decision to close or delay school is a very important one and is made only after thorough consideration.  I, along with my leadership team, closely monitor weather reports from NOAA as well as the major television and radio stations. We are in contact with local police and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, as needed. We are in contact with neighboring school districts and with Shelby County EMA. We also consider several factors such as road safety of students and staff and the ability of school buses to safely travel.  All information provided helps us determine whether or not to close school.  In the event that we decide that closing is the appropriate course of action, our Public Relations Supervisor will immediately begin alerting parents and the public through Blackboard Connect, media outlets such as television, radio, and the newspaper, the Shelby County Schools Website , and Twitter.

In the event of a delayed start, cancellation, or early dismissal we will also issue phone notifications to the families of enrolled students via Blackboard Connect. Families should not rely solely on receiving a call, but should also monitor the media and check our website for information.
When the weather gets cold there is much concern for students.  We share that concern and work to balance priorities of education and safety.  Shelby County Schools appreciates the support received from parents, faculty and the community and we hope that you find this information beneficial and reassuring.

Randy Fuller is the superintendent of the Shelby County School System.