Calamity Day Q & A
What is a calamity day?
Pickerington Schools refers to a school cancellation as a calamity day. During a calamity day, classes across the district or in a specific school(s) may be delayed or cancelled for the day for any of the following reasons:
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff, law enforcement and road crews. The district gives careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district. They can be treacherous, even if your street looks clear.
- Accumulated snow and ice.
- Temperature and wind chill.
- Impact on transportation services. School bus diesel fuel begins to gel at temperatures of zero degrees or below.
- Weather predictions (including those from a weather alert service).
- Building conditions (e.g., electricity, heat, water)
- Staff shortage/illness in a specific building(s) or districtwide
- Transportation staff shortage: Transportation modifications will be announced along with the other details of each closure/delay.
- Other conditions
- Inoperability of school buses or equipment necessary to the school’s operation.
- Damage to a school building.
- Temporary utility failure rendering the building unsuitable for school use.
- Hazardous weather conditions
Who makes the decision to close schools for a calamity day?
The superintendent makes the final decision, based upon various factors and recommendations from the transportation and facilities teams.
Pickerington Schools is a large and geographically diverse district. Weather and road conditions may be fine in one portion of the district, but not in another. In such instances, we must cancel classes or modify the school day for the entire district.
When will families know if Pickerington Schools is on a delayed start or calamity day?
We strive to make the decision to delay, close or move to a virtual learning day by 5:30 a.m. or earlier so we can notify radio and TV stations, post to the district website, and send electronic notices to emergency announcement subscribers.
Unusual weather conditions may force us to make the decision after this time. For that reason, parents and students are advised to stay tuned to major television and radio stations, as well as our website and e-communications notices, for updates.
Once a decision is made to delay or cancel classes, the information will be shared with parents and the media as quickly as possible.
How does Pickerington Schools announce delayed starts and calamity days?
Pickerington Schools announces delayed starts and calamity days using:
1. Phone and email alerts
Pickerington Schools will announce delayed starts and calamity days through pre-recorded telephone calls to current parent/guardians' telephone numbers on file with the district.
The district also sends email messages about any delayed start or calamity day via this website.
It is important to keep student contact information and contact preferences current by logging into the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and updating your contact information.
2. The district's website and social media channels
Information about delayed starts and calamity days will be posted on the home page of the district’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter.
3. Television and radio stations
Pickerington Schools shares any delayed start and calamity day information with local television and radio stations. However, we recommend that parents and students confirm delay and cancellation information received from media outlets on the district’s social media channels or this website.
Each local television station offers a delayed start and school cancellation text message program that sends delay/closure information directly to your phone.
On a delayed start or calamity day, the following local television stations will be notified: