The superintendent of schools is authorized by the Lincoln Board of Education to close public schools in case of severe weather. Representatives of the superintendentís staff will notify local news media when inclement weather warrants such action. The information is broadcast regularly by radio and television stations.
A decision to close school is made when forecasts by the weather service and civil defense officials indicate that it would be unwise for students to go to school. If possible, a decision about the next school day will be made by 9 p.m. for announcement during the 10 p.m. news.
An early decision is not always possible because of uncertain weather conditions. School officials will make periodic assessments of conditions during the night and will decide early in the morning (by 6 a.m. if possible). In any case, an announcement will be made to the news media when schools will be closed. In some instances, schools will be open, but certain services may be cancelled (bus transportation, kindergarten, student activities).
Announcements about other Nebraska school closings are included in Lincoln radio and television broadcasts. Students and parents will want to pay special attention to which public school district is being closed.
Every attempt will be made to avoid closing school once classes are in session. In some instances closing school during the day is inevitable if children are to safely return home before the brunt of a major storm hits. In these cases as much advance notice as possible will be given to parents. If school is closed during the day the notice will be broadcast by the media and parents should have a plan in place to accommodate these circumstances.
Parents may decide to keep their children at home in inclement weather because of personal circumstances. Students absent because of severe weather when school is in session will be marked absent. The absence will be treated like any other absence for legitimate causes provided parents properly notify the school of their decision. Parents may pick up their children in inclement weather at any time during the school day. Students will not normally be dismissed from school during severe weather on the basis of a telephone request.
Parents should not attempt to come to school during a tornado warning. School officials are not permitted to release students from the school building during a tornado warning. Tornado safety procedures are practiced regularly by students and staff members.
Also, parents are urged not to call radio and television stations and school buildings during severe weather. Every effort will be made to provide accurate and timely information through the media.