Closings and Delays

  • BELIEFS

    • Weather conditions are both variable and extreme in Northern Indiana.
    • Concrete rules do not exist for making decisions regarding variable and extreme weather, but these guidelines will serve as a reference for School City of Mishawaka (SCM).
    • SCM believes the public expects schools to be open and to provide education, supervision, and other services (including meals) to its students.
    • SCM believes all parents are committed to keeping children safe and these parents will dress their children appropriately for the weather when sending the children to school.
    • SCM recognizes that it is first and foremost a parental decision to determine if a child should attend school on inclement weather days.
    • SCM respects a parent’s determination regarding their child’s attendance at school during inclement weather. If school is open or delayed, because of inclement weather, the school will respect the parent’s decision to keep their child at home. Parents are expected to contact the school and inform school officials of their determination. The student will be counted as absent, per state code, and students will be given an opportunity to complete their academic work in the same manner as an excused absence from school.

     COMMUNICATION

    • On a normal school day, it will be announced no later than 6:00 AM if we are delaying and/or closing.
    • Following a delay, it will be announced no later than 8:30 AM if we are closing.
    • Following the SCM social media accounts on Facebook @SchoolCityofMishawaka and Twitter @scmschools, is the most immediate means of communication for delays and/or cancellations.
    • Announcements can also be found on the corporation’s website at www.mishawakaschools.com.  
    • Automated phone messages through SchoolMessenger are sent within 15 minutes of a delay and/or cancelation decision to all contacts that are provided to SCM. To be added to the district’s contact list notify your child’s school office.  
    • Additional media outlets are also contacted:
      • WNDU-TV
      • WSBT-TV
      • ABC57 – TV

    2-HOUR DELAY INFORMATION

    START TIMES ON DAYS OF 2-HOUR DELAYS
    NOTE: Breakfast will not be served on a day with a 2-hour delay.

    • All SCM Elementary Schools: 10:45 AM
    • John Young Middle School: 10:05 AM
    • Mishawaka High School: 10:00 AM

    BOYS & GIRLS CLUB/COMPASS CLUB

    • School Closures: Boys & Girls Club and Compass Club will not be in session.
    • 2-Hour Delays: Boys & Girls Club and Compass Club will begin at 6:45 AM.
      NOTE: Breakfast will not be served on a day with a 2-hour delay.

    PRESCHOOL SCHEDULE

    • In the event of a 2-hour delay, preschool morning sessions will be canceled. Afternoon preschool will proceed as usual.

    LATE START WEDNESDAYS

    • In the event of a 2-hour delay on a Wednesday, the Late Start PLC time will be canceled and the corporation will run the 2-hour delay schedule (see 2-hour delay start times above).

    DELAYING OR CLOSING SCHOOL IS BASED ON MULTIPLE VARIABLES

    FREEZING RAIN/SLEET

    • The most unpredictable weather variable is freezing rain/sleet. Freezing rain/sleet is temperature sensitive and fast-occurring. It begins and ends with little notice. When freezing rain/sleet are predicted, the decision regarding school is delayed until the latest possible time in an effort to observe the most current and local conditions. Such a decision will generally be made in the morning.

    SNOWFALL

    • Snowfall is more predictable than freezing rain/sleet. Meteorologists generally give a 2-inch variable when predicting snow accumulation. Because of the variation in actual snowfall, when compared to predicted snowfall, the decision regarding school status is delayed until the snow accumulation indicates a need for action. Such a decision, except in extreme situations, will generally be made in the morning.

    EXTREME SNOWFALL SITUATIONS

    • When snow has accumulated to a significant level, or is at such a level with more snowfall predicted, then the decision regarding school may be made the previous evening. A significant level is one in which local authorities have indicated it is unlikely streets will be passable by the following morning. 

    EXTREME COLD
    (See Chart Below)

    • Temperature prediction is increasingly accurate. SCM uses the hourly temperature predictions for its zip code from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov). In addition, SCM uses the Wind Chill Chart from the NOAA and the National Weather Service showing when frostbite becomes a concern if bare skin is exposed to frigid temperatures for varying amounts of time.

    • If air temperature is predicted by NOAA to be -10 degrees or below with calm wind (the starting point for severe wind chill concerns) at 7:00 AM, the school will consider a two-hour delay for the start of school.  If the air temperature is predicted to remain at -10 degrees or below at 9:00 AM with calm wind the school will consider closing. Such a determination will be made as early as possible, including the evening before.
       

    EXTREME WIND CHILL
    (See Chart Below)

    • Wind chill prediction is not as accurate as temperature prediction because wind speed is more variable by time and location. While NOAA observations and predictions are based upon the open conditions of the South Bend International Airport, these conditions can vary from actual weather in Mishawaka. Local observations of wind speed will affect the decision regarding delaying or closing school.

    • Using the Wind Chill Chart, severe wind chill concerns or frostbite emerge at a predicted wind chill temperature at or near -20 degrees for 30 minutes. 

    • If wind chill is predicted by NOAA to be at or near -20 degrees or below and if local wind conditions are predicted to mirror the airport wind conditions at 7:00 AM, SCM will consider a two-hour delay for the start of school. If the wind chill is predicted to remain at or near -20 degrees or below and local conditions mirror the airport wind conditions at 9:00 AM, the school will consider closing. The variability of wind speed will likely cause this decision to be made in the morning.

     NOAA wind chill chart