Lebanon R-3 School District Inclement Weather Information
Those of us who live and work in the Ozarks understand that school will probably be canceled or dismissed early sometime during the year because of inclement weather. The decision to cancel Lebanon R-3 Schools is based on many factors, but student safety is always the primary concern. Please take a moment to review the following information about school cancellations, early dismissal, parent notification and precautions to keep Lebanon students safe.
How are parents and school staff notified if school is canceled or dismissed early?
• The School Reach automated calling system is the primary method of notification. School Reach calls are placed to Lebanon R-3 parents and staff within minutes of the decision to close school or dismiss early. To ensure they receive School Reach calls, parents are reminded to contact their child's school when they change phone numbers or move.
• KJEL radio and Springfield television stations are notified of school cancellations or early dismissal immediately after the School Reach calls are launched. Please note – after the television stations are notified, there is sometimes a lapse of time before they broadcast the cancellation information.
• School closures and activity updates will be posted on the main district web page as they become available.
• Early dismissal messages will be sent to R-3 eNEWS subscribers after School Reach calls are launched. To subscribe click here.
How can parents prepare for school cancellation and early dismissal?
• Update contact information at their child’s school when phone numbers or addresses are changed.
• Share with the child’s school the plan the child should follow if school is dismissed early. Include whether the child is to go home or to another residence.
• Notify schools of changes to transportation routines as soon as possible - to allow adequate time to make safe and accurate transportation changes.
What is the process for making a decision about holding or canceling school?
• Administrators track inclement weather on the internet and television weather reports.
• The Director of Transportation and staff members drive key roads to assess condition.
• The District maintains close contact with county and city road crews.
• Administrators may contact other school districts in the line of the storm to gauge the intensity of the storm and discuss plans to deal with the situation.
• The Director of Transportation makes a recommendation to the Superintendent.
The decision process includes the following considerations:
o Student safety is the top priority.
o Minimizing student exposure to hazardous road or weather conditions.
o Providing families with as much time as possible to make child care arrangements.
Why not cancel school whenever inclement weather strikes?
In general, we believe it is in the best interest of students to have school when possible. Instructional time is valuable for all students. Schools are safe, warm places for students; when school is canceled, many children must stay at home without adult supervision. Ultimately, when inclement weather strikes, parents must make decisions that are best for their child’s circumstances. Of course, we respect those decisions.
Is school canceled when winter weather includes extremely cold temperatures? There is no set temperature that must be reached in order to cancel school. Lebanon administrators consider many factors, including temperature, when deciding whether to have school. Student safety is always the top priority..
Inclement weather precautions:
• Parents are encouraged to make sure their children, especially those who walk to school or ride the bus, are dressed appropriately with gloves, coats, hats and scarves.
• Bus drivers will allow extra time for students to board buses at designated stops. This will enable students to watch for the bus from indoors during extremely cold weather.
Snow Routes - Buses 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21, 25, 35, 38, 44, 48, 57 are the ONLY designated Snow Route buses. All other buses run their regular routes when school is in session. Snow Route parents also receive a letter explaining the Snow Route procedure.
In the event of inclement weather during winter months it may become necessary to alter certain school bus routes when road conditions become hazardous because of snow or ice. In some cases, the district will use "snow routes" to help our students and school buses get safely to and from school. These alternate routes allow the buses to run on most major thoroughfares while avoiding some of the more difficult roads. Roads with potentially dangerous conditions will be avoided. Alternate stops have been established along these routes for students to meet their bus. In some areas it may be a necessity for parents to take their children to these points.
If winter weather forces the buses to operate on snow routes, these announcements will be made using local radio and TV media, the Lebanon R-III website, the district's Facebook and Twitter pages, and the school district's phone messaging system, SchoolReach.
Because of the wide variety of roads and terrain on which we operate, it is not uncommon for roads to be fully passable in some areas of the District while others are still iced or snowed in. Bus drivers must continue to use their good judgment in deciding if a road or street may be safely traveled. On some days, we may operate full routes in some areas of the District while still running snow routes in others. These variations will be announced in the same way that snow routes for the whole District or school closings would be. Please listen to the announcements carefully to get the information particular to your bus route.
The snow routes for all Lebanon R-III Schools are listed below. Please remember that all times for snow route meeting points are estimated as closely as possible, but times may vary, depending on road conditions. So, please have your students at the designated meeting points in plenty of time. Also, please ensure that your students dress warmly and appropriately in case the bus is running late, or even if they are standing out waiting for the bus to arrive at the scheduled time in the mornings or while loading buses at school in the afternoon.