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Parent Information - Emergency School Closings

Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five
     One of the most difficult decisions I have to make is when to close schools because of bad weather.  Please let me assure you that we do not want to interrupt your schedules; however, the safety of students and school staff must be the primary factor in making such decisions.  Safety is and will always be one of our foremost concerns.
     Please read the following to see how emergency decisions related to bad weather are made.  I ask that you partner with us by making advance plans about how your family will handle days when school must be cancelled or interrupted.  By working together, we can increase safety and minimize the disruptions caused by emergency closings.
                                                          Dr. Jesse Washington, III, Superintendent of Schools
Who is Watching the Weather?
     During seasons of inclement weather, the superintendent and the administrative staff carefully monitor icy, wintry, or other weather conditions that may create hazardous driving conditions.  The administrative staff listens to weather forecasts, monitors conditions as reported by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), and receives local road condition reports from the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Department.
     The OCSD5 director of transportation, monitors and tests road conditions on bus routes as early as 4:30 a.m.  Members of the administrative staff also consult with neighboring school systems to determine road conditions that may exist on roads that border other counties.
How is the Decision Publicized?
     Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five closings will be announced as soon as possible in local broadcast media.  Parents are encouraged to tune in to radio stations WORG (100.3 FM), WIGL (93.5 FM), WWBD (95.7 FM), WOCS (93.7); or television stations WIS-TV channel 10 (NBC), WLTX channel 19 (CBS), WOLO channel 25 (ABC) or WACH channel 57 (FOX) as their initial source to review school closings.  Other broadcast media will be notified as well; however, WORG 100.3, WIGL 93.9 and WIS-TV are our primary points of contact.
     Announcements concerning closing information will also be broadcast through Alert Solutions (our telephone messaging system) and posted on the system website.
     Please note that we will not report that schools are open. On a scheduled school day, it should be understood that schools are open unless a closing notice has been announced on the local media.
What Factors are Considered When Closing School?
     Even if it looks clear on your street, dangerous conditions may exist in some other parts of the district.  The school district takes all the following factors into consideration when deciding if it will be safe for children to attend school:
    * information on road conditions from the director of transportation, law enforcement agencies, and the SCDOT
    * weather predictions
    * time snow or ice starts and the amount of accumulation expected
    * temperature and wind-chill factor
    * condition of side roads and sidewalks used by walkers
    * condition of parking lots and school sidewalks
    * condition of buildings (e.g., whether we have power and heat).
Who Makes the Final Decision?
     The superintendent of schools is responsible for making the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the administrative staff.
When is the Decision Made?
     Every effort is made to make the final decision by 6:00 a.m. so that the broadcast media can be promptly notified.  The decision will also be posted on the system website as soon as feasibly possible.
What if School Opening is Simply Delayed?
     If school opening is delayed, please follow the same routine/schedule as normal, but push back the school start time by two (2) hours.
What if School Must be Closed During the Day?
     If conditions exist that cause the administration to feel that closing school earlier than normal dismissal times is necessary, all students will be sent home in the usual manner (e.g., bus, day-care vans, personal pick-up, etc.) unless other directions are on file with the teacher.  It is impossible for the school staff to accept phoned-in directions during the emergency closings.
     Parents should plan ahead for the possibility of early school closings and have written directions on file with the school (e.g., change of person that will be handling personal pick-ups).  Make sure that your child knows whom to go with, where to go, how to get there, and what to do upon arrival.
The public will be notified by the same methods previously listed.
Closing Announcement Formats
Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five Schools Closed
If this is the only statement; NO employees or students are to report to schools or work.
Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five Schools Closed ~ All Employees Report
This message includes all personnel, EXCEPT lunchroom personnel and school bus drivers.
Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five Schools Closed ~ All 12-Month Employees Report
All 12-month employees are expected to report for work.  A specific time to report may accompany this announcement.

578 Ellis Avenue | Orangeburg, SC 29115