Closings and Delays

On occasion, it may become necessary to close school due to extreme weather conditions or other unusual circumstances.  When this happens, the public will be notified through local radio and television stations, email, social media and Southmont Schools' Auto Dialing System and website.  Please do not attempt to contact the district or individual school buildings as this ties up phone lines and resources and prevents us from making or receiving emergency calls.  All efforts are made to contact parents and the media as soon as the decision is made.

School may be dismissed early due to extreme weather conditions or other factors.  The media will be notified if this is necessary.  If it appears that there may be a chance that school will be dismissed early, please tune to the local radio or television stations.  Arrangements should be made in advance in preparation for possible early dismissal so that all students will know where they are to go.

If school is delayed, the same procedure as outlined above would be followed.  If school is running on a two-hour delay schedule, you should expect the bus to pick up students two hours later than normal.  Slight changes may need to be made depending on weather conditions.

If it becomes necessary to dismiss school early, delay school opening or cancel school completely because of weather, parents and students will be informed by the following outlets:

  • WRTV Channel 6
  • WISH Channel 8
  • WTHR Channel 13
  • WLFI Channel 18
  • SMCSC Auto Dialing System (please ensure that your phone numbers and email are updated in PowerSchool)
  • SMCSC website
  • SMCSC Twitter and Facebook Accounts

NOTE:  If it is necessary to delay school on a Wednesday, the 2-hour delay replaces the normal late start schedule.

How is the decision to delay or close school made?

A great deal of thought, collaboration and fact-finding goes into the decision to disrupt normal school operations.  Among those factors impacting that decision are:

  • Approximately 1700 Southmont Schools students must get to and from school safely each day.
  • Approximately 225 square miles, the total area of our district, must be taken into consideration.  Weather in one part of our district can often be more severe than other areas.  These dramatic differences often cause one area to be fine, while another area is impassable.
  • Our buses are typically 40 ft. in length, and must navigate tight areas in some neighborhoods.
  • District administration travels roadways before a decision is made to visually determine road conditions.
  • District administration consults with county officials, including the Sheriff’s Office, the County Highway Department and other school districts.  The direction of these safety officials significantly impacts the decisions of our district.
  • Typically, the temperature increase, in degrees, on bitterly cold days between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. is 0, which accounts for, in some cases, no delays being called.

In some instances, when all factors are considered, the best course of action is to delay the start of school for a period of time (usually two hours) to allow the weather to pass or road crews to better treat the highways.  If we believe, ultimately, that conditions are severe enough that travel on roadways endangers students, parents and staff, we will cancel school.  Typically, the district will make these decisions no later than 6:00 a.m., though factoring in weather forecasts and present conditions a decision could be made the night before.