Emergency & Inclement Weather Procedures
In the event of a school closing, for weather or emergency, the District will use the following procedures to notify parents and patrons:Cancellations –If snow, ice, extreme cold conditions, or an emergency event occurs on a weekday which creates unsafe conditions, school will be cancelled and the day will be made up at the end of the school year. These snow days are listed at the bottom right corner of the 1- page district calendar each year. Late-start options have been discussed, but they are not ideal, as families may be without a childcare provider or miss the announcement, leaving their child outdoors waiting for the bus. Please review how Dr. Underwood, Superintendent, comes to decisions about weather-related decisions.Communications – If school is canceled, District officials will send alerts through the automated calling system, text alerts, the website, and social media outlets. Lastly, they will notify all local news stations.Care Programs - Care programs will remain open on the days the District closes for inclement weather. Hours will be 9 am - 5:30 pm. Parents need to send breakfast, lunch, and snack for their children. Only in rare cases when the weather is severe will the Care Programs close. In this case, programs would alert affected parents through calls, text messages, the website, and social media outlets. SAC students report to Gladden and PAC report to Grace.Wind Chill - The National Weather Service has a website displaying their wind chill chart. This chart shows that the wind chills that are likely to produce frostbite of exposed skin within thirty (30) minutes range from minus eighteen (-18) to minus thirty-three (- 33) degrees. Students walking to or from school, or waiting for a bus should not need to be out in the cold longer than thirty (30) minutes. Therefore, if the wind chill is likely to be at minus 18 degrees (-18) or colder during the time period when students would be going to school, or home from school, we will close schools.If you want to visit the National Weather Service website, you can find a wealth of weather information. For local information point and click on the map where Kansas City is located (Northwest Missouri). You can navigate through the “Warnings and Forecasts” windows to see what is predicted for temperatures, snow amounts, wind force, and other factors.
Spring Midwest Weather Preparations
We felt it would be beneficial to share with you some of the ways the Belton School District manages "Midwest weather" in an effort to keep our students and staff safe.Tornado Drills: Students and staff conduct several tornado drills throughout the school year and make adjustments as needed depending on where students are in the building when the drill happens.Outdoor Activities: Each building is equipped with a weather radio and walkie-talkies to assist the communication between administrators, secretaries, recess staff, and physical education teachers in the event of hazardous weather. After hours, school-aged childcare staff, coaches, and activity sponsors keep an eye on the sky and utilize weather apps to monitor outdoor activities.Weather Bug: Hillcrest STEAM Academy has partnered with Weather Bug to monitor and learn from the local weather -- a great way to stay informed about what is truly happening weather-wise in Belton! A weather station is installed on the roof of the building, and if you download the Weather Bug app (Google Play or iTunes), you'll be able to access the most current weather for Belton. If you don't want the app, you can always visit the Weather Bug website.Student Drivers: Please have a conversation with your student drivers about the safety needed when driving in the rain. Some suggestions: Check windshield wipers to ensure they are working and not in need of replacement, remind students to have headlights on when driving in the rain, and warn them of the dangers of hydroplaning.FEMA Shelter: Belton High School has a FEMA shelter on the southwest corner of the building. With the construction going on, the primary access point to enter the shelter are the double-windowed doors (shown below) on the south end of the structure.
If the emergency weather/tornado warning sirens go off in the community and school is not in session, the FEMA shelter will be open for public use. If there is an evening event outdoors at the stadium or the surrounding buildings, guests will be directed to proceed to the shelter. If the sirens go off and school is in session, the FEMA shelter does not have the capacity to accommodate the public because the students and staff of BHS, Grace, Mill Creek all seek refuge there.
If a tornado watch is issued during the school day, Mill Creek, Grace, and Yeokum Center of Innovation administrators assess the situation closely with Belton High School to determine if they will have time to evacuate and get to the FEMA shelter or secure everyone in place. Their secure-in-place plans have been practiced as referenced above.
Safety is always our first priority for students and staff. We hope this information has been helpful for your family. As always, if you have questions, please reach out to us or your child's principal for more information.
NOTE: Companion animals and other house pets or animals are not allowed in the Safe Room area due to the space the pets will require which will reduce the amount of space for humans.
Evacuees with aid animals: Evacuees requiring aid animals will be allowed to bring the aid animal in the tornado Safe Room. The aid animal shall be on a leash and kept under the owner’s control at all times. To enter the Safe Room proper official identification must be provided to show that the animal is certified as an aid animal. The needs of the animal such as water, food, and cleaning supplies are to be provided by the owner. The owner is responsible for the actions of the aid animal.