The Wake County school system plans to go back to having a policy solely dedicated to responding to school closings and delays caused by inclement weather.
Currently, the school district incorporates inclement weather into a policy covering emergency procedures. School administrators said that policy combination resulted in problems this school year when principals were determining what procedures to use to respond to all the weather issues that interrupted classes.
“This past year, I think, has clearly caused some confusion with the public as well as school administrators when looking for the R&P (rules and procedures) of how we do things in reference to inclement weather,” Russ Smith, Wake’s senior director of security, told the school board’s policy committee on Tuesday.
Smith explained that inclement weather historically was a standalone policy. But he said the policy was modified in 2007 because Wake needed to have wording in place on emergency procedures to comply with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
The policy includes R&P, which lays out the guidelines of what schools are to do in a weather situation. Smith said having inclement weather and emergency procedures in the same policy worked well until this school year.
Now school administrators plan to have a separate policy on emergency procedures. The inclement weather policy will go back to what it was before the 2007 change.
“So when principals have inclement weather and they want to know what I do, they’re looking for inclement weather policies and when there’s an emergency situation, they’re looking for emergency procedures policy,” said Marvin Connelly, Wake’s chief of staff and strategic planning.
School board member Jim Martin, the chairman of the policy committee, said it shows “good logic” to separate the policies. The committee backed sending the changes to the full board for approval.