Inclement Weather and Emergency Closing of Schools Guidelines
During a severe weather event or emergency (e.g., flooding, icy roads, power failures, etc.), the superintendent may close schools and offices. Rockport-Fulton ISD officials will work closely with City and County officials as well as the National Weather Service should severe weather or other conditions necessitate the closing of schools or a delayed start.
RFISD will notify parents through our website, P3 emails, text message alerts, automated phone calls, and district Facebook and Twitter pages. The district will also inform the local news media channels by 6 a.m., before the start of school. Please ensure your contact information and delivery preferences (for phone call, email, and text) are up to date to receive a notification.
How are decisions made regarding school closures?
- Rockpoprt-Fulton ISD officials work closely with City and County officials as well as the National Weather Service before making any weather-related decision for a delayed start, a closure, or early dismissal of schools. The safety of our students and staff is always a top priority.
- During the day and evening before any forecasted weather event, we consider if it is possible to close school the evening before. This is always ideal because it enables students, parents, and staff to plan ahead. But it is not always possible.
- Because we do not want to close school prematurely, the decision is often made around 5:00 a.m. The superintendent will often communicate with other local superintendents to discuss the weather and plan our response. This is important because there are so many school districts in such close proximity and we all have staff members living in other communities. When one district closes, it affects other districts, so we do our best to work together.
- Weather can be unpredictable and sometimes we decide to close "late" because we are waiting to see where a weather front moves. In our area, things change quickly, so we want to make the right decision at the right time.
- Sometimes we close even when the weather appears to be fine. When this happens, it is because there has been flooding, power outages, or traffic issues throughout the area that would prevent our staff from getting to work. Other times, we remain open even when neighboring districts are closed because the issues are more localized. Sometimes it might even be because we have damage to our own buildings that prevent us from opening for school.
- The superintendent will confer with the RFISD Operations Department, chief of police, facilities, and transportation staff to make the call. Then he/she calls the communications staff to let them know the decision. That is when they begin the communication plan to share the news publicly, and the information is sent via the district's website/social media, the parent notification system, and local media. The Board of Trustees and other senior leadership team members are also notified.