School Safety in Winter Weather

Children can be especially susceptible to the dangers associated with winter weather. Their youthful enthusiasm often takes over when common sense and safety should prevail. Even if they are cold, wet, or exhausted, they often are not conscious of the potential impact these conditions could pose.

School administrators, principals, and teachers need to be aware of the dangers winter weather pose. Emergency plans and procedures must be established or reviewed before the onset of the winter season to ensure children’s safety.

Winter safety procedures should include:

  1. A means of receiving current weather information. The National Weather Service (NWS) provides this information via NOAA Weather Radio. Commercial radio and television also air winter weather conditions.
  2. Guidelines for children’s outdoor activities.
  3. Plans and procedures for closures, early dismissal or holding children and staff at school due to snow, ice or extreme cold.
  4. Provisions for children who arrive earlier than usual or stay later than usual due to driving conditions parents may encounter.

Considerations for bus drivers:

  1. Training for winter conditions.
  2. Procedures for altered school schedules.
  3. Changes in routes (alternate) during winter conditions.
  4. Procedures to deal with stranded buses.