DISTRICT EMERGENCY PROCEDURES:
Waller ISD emergency management officials make decisions about school closings or delayed openings due to inclement weather no later than 6 a.m. whenever possible. The District posts all school weather-related updates on the District website at www.wallerisd.net. Additional communication tools are used as well to disperse the updates. The District will use the Skylert automated phone calling system, the Waller ISD News Bits Email system, the Waller ISD Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/WallerISD and the @WallerISD Twitter social media channel to notify parents and staff of school weather-related updates. The inclement weather school closing or delayed start information is dispersed to local news and radio stations.
*Please note that Waller ISD uses multiple communication outlets to share information in the event the community experiences power outages*
Waller ISD may open on a delayed schedule, instead of closing the schools for the day. However, school is rarely dismissed early for inclement weather conditions because of working parents and the safety concern with sending children home without adult supervision.
Waller ISD will make every attempt to broadly communicate weather-related decisions.
Inclement Weather Decision Q&A:
Q: Is school ever released early due to inclement weather?
A: School is rarely dismissed early for bad weather conditions because of working parents and the safety concern with sending children home without adult supervision. If the parent is concerned and wishes to come to school and pick up his/her child, he/she may do so. However, students will be dismissed only at the regularly scheduled time. Staff members will remain at school until all students are dismissed.
Q: If school is delayed, what time are employees expected to be at work?
A: All staff members are expected to report to work at their customary report-to-work time if they are able to do so. Staff members are expected to promptly notify their supervisor/principal if they will be delayed in coming to work. If school has a delayed opening, principals/supervisors will let staff members know what time they are expected to report.
Q: Who makes the decision about delays or cancellations?
A: The Superintendent, with input from many dedicated staff members who begin surveying the roads overnight and weather conditions. The Superintendent also consults with superintendents of surrounding school districts whether road conditions warrant a school opening delay or school day cancellation.
Q: When is the decision made?
A: Since some of the first district bus routes begin at 5 a.m., the evaluation of roads begins very early. A decision is typically made around 5:30 a.m. and communication to the community will begin immediately thereafter.
Q: How is the decision communicated?
A: The district's Director of Public Relations begins to disperse the decision immediately after the final decision is made. The media and radio contacts with the information will be informed. The district posts the information on the Waller ISD website at www.wallerisd.net. The Administrative Team also begins a telephone tree notifying building principals and support departments of the decision. The District will make every effort to use the Skylert phone calling system, Waller ISD News Bits Email, the Waller ISD Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/WallerISD and Twitter @WallerISD to contact parents/students as well.
Q: What is the priority in making the decision whether to delay or close schools?
A: The first priority in the decision making process is the safety of our students and staff. The decision to delay or close schools is very difficult and complex. A decision at 5:30 a.m. determines the entire day. As you all know, Texas weather can change for the better or worse quickly.
Q: Why would there be a delay and then cancellation?
A: Texas weather is unpredictable. For example, roads may seem passable at 5 a.m. but conditions can make roads treacherous by 6 a.m. In unpredictable weather, flexibility and changes may have to be made in order to ensure the safety of our students.
Q: Why can't the district make a decision the night before?
A: Conditions can worsen, stabilize, or improve by morning. The towns in which we reside and Texas Department of Transportation crews usually work during the night to improve travel conditions for the next morning.
Should road and/or weather conditions be such that school operations are threatened, the following procedures shall be followed:
• Between 3:30 a.m. - 5:00 a.m., district personnel evaluate road and bridge conditions from each region of the district boundaries.
• The district consults with the Emergency Management Service and monitors forecasts from the National Weather Service and local radio and television stations.
• Superintendent confers with Transportation Director and superintendents of surrounding school districts. After evaluating all information, the superintendent makes a decision by 5:30 a.m. when possible.
• Radio and TV stations are immediately notified if school will not be in session. Local television and radio stations will be used to publicize all school closing information.
• Waller ISD uses several communication tools to notify the the public of school closings or delayed start times:
• District school closing notifications will be posted on the Waller ISD website: www.wallerisd.net.
• A Skylert phone call from 1-866-824-9878, text message, and a Waller ISD News Bits Email will be dispersed to notify all employees and parents registered in the Skylert Employee and Student Information Systems of weather-related delayed start or school closings. Employees and parents may call 1-866-824-9878 to retrieve the last 10 messages that were sent to the primary phone number registered in the Skyward Employee and Student Information Systems.
• School closures will also be communicated through the Twitter account @WallerISD and the Waller ISD Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/WallerISD.
• Local television and radio stations will be notified to publicize all school closing information.
The safety of students and personnel is a TOP PRIORITY in Waller ISD and the following procedures have been put into place to promote an even higher level of security district-wide:
SHELTER IN PLACE – Used in any situation other than weather that may be a hazard to health or life threatening. All windows and doors will be locked and air conditioning system will be shut down. No one will be allowed to enter or leave the building. Parents will not be able to pick up children from school*
SHELTER IN PLACE, WEATHER ONLY – Used when weather conditions exist that may place a school in immediate danger. Students and staff will be sheltered inside buildings away from outside windows or doors. Buildings will be open for entry only. Parents will not be able to pick up children from school*
LOCKDOWN – Used when an intruder invades the premises or when there is an imminent danger to a school. All doors, windows, and classrooms will be locked. Students and teachers remain in their classrooms until the “All Clear” signal is given. No one will be allowed to enter or leave the building. Parents will not be able to pick up children from school*
ALL CLEAR – Signal for the return to regular student/teacher activities or the instigation of the parent/student reunification process. Parents can pick up their children.
REUNIFICATION/CHILD PICKUP – Goes into effect when reports from emergency personnel indicate that the danger or threat has passed and the area is determined safe for children and parents. The district/school will identify the locations, time, and checkout process for parents to pick up children.
*It is safer to keep students inside the school rather than expose them to possible harm by allowing them to leave the building.
*Traffic jams caused by parental pickup can block or delay emergency vehicle access.