Inclement Weather Policy
Current as of: March 2017
Safety is priority.
Our staff understands that our decision to open, close or delay school opening during inclement weather often disrupts family schedules. We also understand that our children are better served – academically, emotionally and socially – by being in school or daycare. But, as always, our top priority is the safety of our children and staff, so the decision to close or delay opening is not an easy one. The process is complex and involves many people.
How do we make our decision?
Please understand that we make the decision to open or close the center in bad weather based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, including:
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff and from local law enforcement and road crews
- Amount of snow and/or ice accumulated
- Whether precipitation will continue throughout the day
- Temperature and wind chill
- Weather predictions (including those from a weather alert service)
- Storm timing, trajectory and projection
- Building conditions (such as whether our building’s electricity and/or heat service is disrupted)
- Parking lot conditions
*Generally, Little Lambs will be closed or delayed for inclement weather when local school districts and government are both closed or delayed. Still, our center has its own exclusive circumstance. Please call us for the most up-to-date information in each unique situation: 703-490-4565.
Who makes the decision?
Ultimately, Little Lambs’ directors are responsible for the final decision based on the above factors and recommendations from our plow service that are out on the road observing transportation conditions. Often our directors consult with other area center directors who are similarly affected by inclement weather/school closures.
When is the decision made?
We strive to make the decision to close by 4:45 a.m. or earlier so we can notify parents immediately via email, voice recording, Facebook and our website. Please keep in mind that unusual weather conditions may force us to make the decision after this time. It is quite possible that bus or building issues could arise and not be discovered until after 6:00 a.m. In those cases, decisions on center closure may be made later in the day.
Will we close Little Lambs in Conditions Worsen?
Even if the weather conditions worsen, we cannot reverse our decision in the morning without endangering the children and staff. If conditions worsen throughout the school day, we may need to have an early dismissal, but we will give as much notice as possible through the previously mentioned methods of communication. However, it is very important for parents to have plans in place in case the decision needs to be made later. We encourage you to consider driving conditions. Always allow yourself plenty of time in the afternoon to pick up your child when the center closes early.
Although we do our absolute best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision exists. If you do not feel that it is safe for your child to attend, use your best judgment whether or not he or she should attend. We prefer to exercise flexibility in these situations as opposed to an inflexible policy.