Winter Weather School Closing Process

As we prepare for the cold and snow that winter will bring,  Howell Public Schools would like to share its approach to school closings due to inclement weather. There are several factors that guide the district’s decision-making when it comes to closing school. First and foremost, is the safety of students and staff.

When snow or ice falls overnight or early in the morning, members of the Howell Public  Schools administrative team and transportation department assess road conditions by driving the roads to determine whether road conditions are such that buses can safely transport students. Howell Public Schools covers 167 square miles and encompasses both paved and dirt roads. Often the main roads may be clear, but the back roads and subdivision roads are not. In addition, conference calls between the superintendents in Livingston County take place to discuss current and predicted road and weather conditions. You may see that some schools in the county close when Howell Public Schools does not; that is because of varied conditions throughout Livingston County.

Additionally, the district will cancel school if the forecasted, sustained wind chill is -20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder during the period of time that students will be waiting for a bus or walking to school. Students are always encouraged to dress in layers to protect themselves from the cold.

Howell Public Schools makes a good faith effort to cancel school no later than 5:30 a.m. to provide families as much time as possible to make arrangements for the day. Having a backup plan for childcare in the event that school is closed is always a good idea.

Once the decision has been made to cancel school, the district will notify parents via phone, email and SMS text messages using its parent notification system. School closings are posted on, on the district’s Facebook page and its Twitter account. Additionally, school closings are announced on WHMI 93.5, WJBK Fox 2, WDIV Local 4, WLNS Channel 6, WILX Channel 10 and WXYZ Channel 7.

When snow begins falling during the school day, Superintendent MacGregor and the transportation team continually monitor road and weather conditions. Additionally, there are conversations between the superintendents in the county regarding current and predicted conditions. In rare cases, it may be necessary to release students early to ensure that busses can safely complete their routes. If this occurs, parents will be notified using the methods listed above.   

Other factors that can lead the district to cancel school include power outages and other building problems. When this is the case, parents will be notified using the methods listed above.

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