Inclement Weather Policy for Ponca City Public Schools
Ponca City Public Schools - January 23, 2023 3:51 pm
With winter weather here, PCPS officials want to remind students, staff, parents and patrons of how they will be notified if school is closed due to inclement weather. PCPS Superintendent Shelley Arrott stated, “The safety of our students, staff and community is our first priority, and we will take every step we can to insure they are safe.”
If school will be closed for inclement weather or another unforeseen reason, every effort will be made to make an announcement by 6 a.m. the day in question.
If parents have checked all district notifications and there has not been an announcement to close school by 6 a.m., parents should assume that school will be in session.
The district will broadcast a message through the district’s mobile app. In addition to app notifications, school closings will be publicized on the front page of our PCPS website (www.pcps.us), Facebook and Twitter pages. It will also be publicized on television stations KFOR, KOCO, KWTV, KOKH, KJRH, KOTV, and KTUL. These radio stations and websites will also be notified: KLOR (99.3 FM), KPNC (100.7 FM), Ponca City Now (website),NewsOk.com, KQSN (104.7 FM), WBBZ (1230 AM), Ponca Post (website), and Kay County News (Kay News Cow – website). The Ponca City News will also be informed.
On days school is closed, Central Office administrative staff will come in to the office early to field calls since they are scheduled to work on these days. You can reach the Central Office at 580-767-8000.
“The district gathers all available information in order to make a decision that will keep students, staff and the community as safe as possible,” said Kristi Hayes, PCPS Public Information Coordinator.
“When a storm brings or is expected to bring freezing rain, ice or snow, PCPS officials begin around 3 a.m. gathering information in order to make a decision about whether schools should be open or closed. Roads are checked by Transportation staff checking out main thoroughfares and neighborhood streets. It’s not just road information and forecasts that are being considered. Temperatures and wind chills to be faced by children waiting for buses or walking to school must also be kept in mind.”
Hayes continued, “Oklahoma weather can be very unpredictable. A storm that is predicted to drop six inches of snow may leave just a trace. Roads may be fine at 5 a.m. and a mess at 6 a.m. On days with potential for bad weather, district staff closely watch conditions, monitoring warnings, reports and radar from the National Weather Service and local media outlets.”
“On cold days, please make sure that all exposed skin is covered with gloves, scarves, caps, and coats – especially for students who walk to school. Let’s work together to keep everyone safe!”
The Washington Pre-K center always opens doors at 7:35 a.m., regardless of weather.
During cooler weather, Union Elementary opens doors at 7:15 a.m. for older students waiting on the bus. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. for all other students.
Liberty opens doors at 7:30 a.m., regardless of the weather. At Trout, doors open at 7:15 a.m. if the weather is below 32 degrees. On other days, the doors open at 7:30 a.m. Lincoln Elementary also opens doors at 7:30 a.m. daily as does the Wildcat Academy. Lincoln will open the doors earlier if temperatures drop below 32 degrees. Woodlands Elementary will open doors at 7:20 a.m. Garfield Elementary opens doors at 7:20 a.m. Students can sit inside or eat breakfast until it’s time for class.
At West Middle School, breakfast will be available starting at 7:30 a.m. and the main entrance doors of the school will open at 7:30 a.m. if the temperature is 32 degrees or below.
At East Middle School, the southeast cafeteria door entrance is open at 7:30 a.m. daily and will continue to remain open for students during inclement/cold weather.
At the high school level, students can enter the building at 7:20 a.m. when there’s inclement weather. Students that arrive early may report to the Retro Cafeteria using the south Retro doors. During inclement weather, these will be the only doors open before 7:40 a.m. Students will remain in the Retro until 7:40 a.m. where breakfast will be served beginning at 7:30 a.m.