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11-13-22 Winter Weather Forecast

Greenback Family,

As we navigate our first winter weather forecast for the 2022-23 school year, I want to give
insight into our thinking as we make decisions on closing or delaying schools.

Of course, keeping our students safe while we keep them moving forward and progressing is our
top priority. We also understand that circumstances can vary for our families across the district,
so we work to balance those competing concerns. For some, a delay or a closure is a hardship
because students might be left unattended because hardworking parents are doing just
that…working. At the same time, we understand an early notice is helpful for planning…but,
weather is notoriously difficult to predict. I often wish all storms could happen at a convenient
time--that would be Wednesday at 7:00 pm because that’s really the only time we don’t have
school, activities, or field trips going other than a Sunday. And, trying to predict how we will get
our people to school, to an event, or home from the event is a big challenge. We certainly want
to avoid limiting opportunities for our students.

Sometimes, we will use a 1-hour or 2-hour delay to give us time to assess conditions in the
morning when the ice or snow has not really started the night before but it is predicted. This also
gives us an opportunity to reassess and possibly close for the day, which we would announce
early in the morning. The delays also give us an opportunity to prepare sidewalks and parking
for our students and staff. Of course, the timing and duration of inclement weather impact the
decision making. At the beginning of the season, when all of us are less in practice with
adapting to the inclement conditions, that will be a factor in the decision making too.

As always, we understand that families may be experiencing different conditions than we are
seeing, and we trust our parents to make those decisions for family safety on those days.
Obviously, it’s a balancing act for schools and families. I want to thank the Pratt County
Emergency Management Team and the city and the county for the work they do to help us make
those decisions and keep us safe.

So, tomorrow morning (11/14)…at this time, the predicted accumulation is 1-2 inches and it is
scheduled to arrive after our normal start time. For that reason, we will maintain our normal start
time. We always assess in the morning in case the there is a significant deviation from the

Stay warm!

Tony Helfrich
Pratt USD 382 Superintendent