Everything You Need to Know About Calamity Days for BCS

Grace Dailey , Student Journalist

As we enter the typically inclement months of February and March, students and staff here at Beavercreek High School have snow days on their minds. Many still wonder about what particular elements determine whether or not schools close.

When bad weather conditions present safety concerns, Beavercreek City Schools’ Superintendent Paul Otten is typically joined by three other district administrators in making a decision. The team of four divides and conquers, each driving a quadrant of the Beavercreek Community around 4:30 am, while discussing road conditions on a conference call. A final decision is usually made by 5:30 am. Staff, students, and parents are then notified of the delay or closure.

Mr. Otten states that there are several streets that are “problem areas” for the school buses when inclement weather strikes. He notes that “the road in front of your house may look clear but in other areas of Beavercreek, they may not be passable.” 

So what exactly are the requirements for a calamity day? What weather conditions call for a two-hour delay versus a full-day closure? In general, two-hour delays are initiated for one of three reasons: if more time is needed in the morning to clear and salt the roads, if an ongoing snow event requires more time to decide if the schools should remain open at all, or if early morning extreme temperatures pose a threat to safety. 

You may recall a time when a two-hour delay was originally called, but a full-day closure was decided shortly after. Ultimately, two-hour delays offer more time to determine if it is safe for students, staff, and bus drivers to commute to school at all.

Snow days are often called when weather conditions represent a situation where it is unsafe for buses to be on the roads at any time during the day. Even if only a few roads exhibit such unsafe conditions, schools will be closed regardless of road conditions in other quadrants of the community. Most of the snow days we have experienced as a community were the result of severe road conditions and ongoing precipitation, such as snow, sleet, or hail.

Another common question asked by students is this: “exactly how many calamity days are we allotted before we have to start making up school?” The State of Ohio recently changed its guidance on how calamity days are allotted for school districts. Before, every school district in the state was allotted five calamity days. Each day after that would have to be made up at the end of the school year. Now, we are allowed seven days, and we still must make up each additional day of school missed.

Throughout the next few months, calamity days are inevitable for Beavercreek City Schools. While we do hope for them by putting spoons under our pillows and wearing our pajamas inside-out, it is important to be cautious in the midst of inclement weather. Trust your administrators, and as always, be safe, beavers!