Inclement Weather and School Cancellation Information and FAQs
What factors influence the district's decision to cancel school?
We try to keep our schools open as scheduled as much as possible. However, there are times when weather conditions cause us to cancel school for the safety of our 2,750 students. We do not make that decision lightly because we understand canceling school can create difficulties for families. There are a number of things to consider when determining whether to have school during inclement weather. Some of those include the condition of area roads; school safety issues such as parking lots, sidewalks and roofs; bus fleet condition; and weather forecast for the remainder of the day.
Who makes the decision to cancel school due to bad weather?
A group comprised of individuals representing transportation, facilities and administration evaluate relevant factors and make a recommendation to the superintendent about whether to close school.
When and how is the decision announced?
The district makes every effort to decide by 6:00 a.m. whether to cancel school so that parents can be alerted as soon as possible. The decision is announced immediately via Harrison School District Twitter and Facebook accounts, website and local news media. Parents who have signed up for Remind will be notified. Individuals may also call the School Closing Line at 870-741-0697. Please do not rely solely on one method of notification. At times, in extreme weather conditions, internet access or telephone service may be disrupted preventing or delaying the use of some communication channels.
Why does Harrison School District have school when other area schools dismiss due to the weather?
Each school district must evaluate its own conditions. The number of rural roads, lack of street maintenance, etc., can make the safety of travel vary from one district to another even when they are in close geographic proximity.
Why doesn’t Harrison School District implement delayed start times on days when conditions are unfavorable in the morning but may improve before dismissal time?
For many of our families, it is difficult to adjust work schedules or find child care for just a few hours in the morning. A delayed start can also make it difficult for working parents with students who are not eligible for bus transportation to get their children to school later than the routine start time. In addition to problems it could create for parents, there are transportation factors that make late start an ineffective option.
When school is closed are all other scheduled activities (ballgames, practices, programs, etc.) canceled for the day?
On days when school is not in session, programs held in our facilities such as after school feeding are also canceled. However, some athletic events and other student activities may continue as scheduled depending on changing weather conditions, distance of travel, departure times and location.
What days will school be made up?
Harrison School District builds five days into the calendar to prepare for inclement weather. Additional days that can be make up days include, but are not limited to, President’s Day, Memorial Day or Spring Break.
What are snow routes and how are they determined?
Snow routes are typically paved roads. Drivers have discretion in determining the safest routes to travel during adverse conditions. For more specific information, please consult your scholar’s driver.
What if my bus is late?
If your regular bus is 30 minutes late, students should return home and contact the district transportation department at 870-741-5847.
How is my child’s attendance affected if I decide to keep them home when school isn’t cancelled?
Children who are kept out of school will be counted absent. The only time a student is not counted absent is if they are out of school due to a school-sponsored activity. Please notify your child’s school by 9:00 a.m. whenever an absence occurs.