Winter Weather Procedures

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 in Latest News | No Comments

Winter Weather Procedures  

We are definitely experiencing some winter conditions this week and I would like to share our procedures and priorities with you in relation to snow and ice but inclement conditions in general.  

Winter Conditions  

  • We have two janitorial staff who have rock salt and a limited range of manual tools to clear entry points into the school and create pathways in play areas.  This is the service level agreement that Cordia have with our Education Services.  Any other snow/ice clearing is based on the good will and commitment of our janitorial staff to our school.  We are grateful to them for that and acknowledge the efforts they make.  We are grateful too, to the parent who have volunteered to help clear targeted areas of the school grounds when we have snow/ice.  Thank you very much.  We look forward to this initiative growing. 
  • Our first priority is to try and ensure the safety of all pupils, parents and staff entering the premises.  
  • The janitorial staff will seek to ensure that the ramp at the main entrance, the Otago Street gate, the ramp leading to the front door and a pathway through the piazza at Gibson Street (to allow the breakfast club children access) are cleared to allow everyone access to the school.  
  • This means that the gate at the bottom of the school (leading into the park) and the main stairs from Kelvin way and the stairs at Otago Street would not be a priority as other points of access would be available. Once our priorities in terms of access have been established the janitorial staff would then seek to clear areas (for example the Courtyard) so that children can have an area to play in at break times. During times of thick ice we would attempt to clear the courtyard to provide us with a playground for the children at the break time if weather permits.  We would have flexible morning break times with the infants out first followed by the older children.  We would seek to share the time at lunch time depending on staffing levels. 
  • On days when it is very icy we would take the children into school from 8:45am.  
  • The infants come into the Social Space and the older children make their way to the gym hall. Both areas are supervised by adults and we have already established this practice in the event of very heavy rain.  
  • As a school we would like our children to be able to experience play in a variety of forms of weather and we would ask that all parents make sure their child is properly dressed and has appropriate footwear for the prevailing weather.  
  • We have a duty of care for our children and our staff and we risk assess every weather situation, this means that sometimes it is just too wet or the risk of injury is judged to be such that the decision to keep the children in at break times is taken. 
  • If there has been a snowfall and the snow is lying we would arrange for our children to be able to go out and play on it. We will risk assess the play areas and make a responsible decision but would be looking to let the children out if possible.

Schools closure due to inclement weather or other adverse circumstances 

We would want to keep our school open at all times but this is not always possible.  

If the school has to be closed, and that is a decision that is not taken lightly, our City Council would try and give us as much notice as possible. However there are a number of factors that can lead to the school being closed – severe weather, building and heating issues, transport problems to name a few and sometimes these problems only emerge in the morning and school closure may be announced at very short notice.  

In the event of a closure or if parents think the school may be closed we would ask everyone to check for updates on the following: 

Please consider phoning the school as a last resort as the lines may be very busy.  If we have to take a decision to close the school when children are in the building we need the lines to contact parents and arrange for the children to be collected.

  • If we have to send children home, once they are in the building, we would use the means listed above to contact parents.  Parents would collect their child from the school.  Parents can collect other children only if this has been arranged with the other parent.  Parents can give permission for older children to go home independently depending on the circumstances that led to the school being closed. 
  • Gym shoes should always be kept in school.  They can be a useful option if a child’s outdoor shoes have become very wet. 
  • Emergency contact numbers should be checked and the school should be given the updated number as soon as possible.   
  • We would ask everyone to check that the school has a working emergency contact number and an alternate one if possible.  If in doubt send your current numbers to our School Office.

 I hope that our procedures are both clear and reassuring.

 Please keep in a safe place for future reference.

Thank you for your cooperation with this important matter.