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Message from Macon County Schools regarding process for weather-related delays/cancellations

As we enter the main part of the winter season, we want to share some insights into our school
delays/closing decisions to keep everyone informed.
We understand the significance of school closures for families, emphasizing that such decisions are made
with careful consideration. The safety of our student drivers, parent drivers, and the extensive bus routes
across the county are paramount factors. These bus routes include back roads with little sun exposure. We
recognize that, at times, the main roads may be clear while the backroads could still be icy.
The superintendent makes the decision about school closing based on a cross-divisional and cross-agency
effort, with information from public safety officials, Macon County Emergency Management, Macon
County officials, and North Carolina State Department of Transportation. In addition, when inclement
weather is an issue, members of the Macon County Schools (MCS) Facilities and Operations team head
out as early as 3:30 AM to drive roads around the county and assess road conditions. The school system’s
transportation staff ensures that buses are operable. (Extreme cold can cause operational problems for
diesel buses.)
It typically takes about 2.5 hours for all of our bus routes to safely complete transportation of all of our students. A decision must be made and shared by 5:15 AM to ensure timely communication, given that our earliest buses start rolling out at 5:30 AM.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the risk of a flash freeze is often highest around sunrise, which is when most of our buses and car riders are on the road. Information about school cancellations, delays and early dismissals will be posted to the district website at Notifications will also be sent via phone call, text message, and email.

Remember that the information posted to MCS sites is the official information from the district. We encourage parents to have childcare arrangements set in anticipation of school closings and delays. Children need to know where to go or what to do if a parent will not be home. MCS VIP afterschool program is not open when school is closed for inclement weather. If the weather is severe enough, a decision will be made the day or night before so that parents have time to make ample arrangements for their children.

Parents are strongly encouraged to use their own discretion regarding school travel for their child. Weather conditions may be unexpected. Road conditions may change once buses begin their routes. If a parent feels that travel is unsafe, they should not permit their child to travel either on the school bus or in a personal vehicle. If a student is unable to travel due to inclement weather, their principal will work with them to have their absence excused and to cover missed instruction.

We share this information to provide transparency in our decision-making process. We understand that it’s difficult to make everyone happy, but we will always put the safety of our students and staff first. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we navigate the challenges of winter weather and ensure the well-being of our students and staff.

Employee Information
Macon County School employees are expected to use their best judgement in deciding whether to come to
work. They may take an annual leave day or make up the day at a time agreeable with their supervisor.
On days that buildings are closed for staff, staff should not report on site.

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