Inclement Weather and Emergency Closing of Schools
Fort Bend ISD Procedures for Emergency Closing of Schools and Offices
The superintendent may close schools and offices due to severe weather or emergencies (e.g., flooding, icy roads, power failures, etc.). Should severe weather or other conditions necessitate the closing of schools or a delayed start, FBISD will notify parents using its telephone and email notification system, School Messenger, as well as our website and social media accounts. FBISD will also notify all major Houston metro-area media by 6 a.m., prior to the scheduled start of school.
A severe weather hotline is available to parents to learn about the latest information from the District regarding a severe weather occurrence. Please call (281) 634-INFO (4636) for information about schedule changes due to weather.
How are decisions made regarding school closures?
(Modified from Dr. Dupre’s April 2016 blog post)
- When we first learn major weather is on the way, we begin to carefully monitor the situation with the support of the county offices of emergency management, TranStar, and any other source providing timely, reliable information.
- During the day and evening before any forecasted weather event, we consider if it is possible to close school the evening before. This is always ideal because it enables students, parents and staff to plan ahead. But it is not always possible.
- Because we do not want to close school prematurely, the decision is often made around 4:30 a.m. Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre participates in a conference call with other superintendents in the Houston area to discuss the weather and to plan our response. This is important because there are so many school districts in such close proximity and we all have staff members living in other districts. When one district closes it affects other districts, so we do our best to work together.
- Weather is unpredictable. Sometimes we make a decision to close “late” because we are waiting to see where a weather front moves. In our area things change quickly, so we want to make the right decision at the right time.
- Sometimes we close even when the weather appears to be fine. When this happens it is because there has been flooding, power outages, or traffic issues throughout the Houston area that would prevent our staff from getting to work. Other times, we remain open even when neighboring districts are closed because the issues are more localized. Sometimes it might even be because we have damage to our own buildings that prevent us from opening for school.
- Once the superintendent has completed the 4 a.m. conference call with other superintendents, he confers with the FBISD chief of police, facilities and transportation staff to make the call. Then he calls the communication staff to let them know the decision. That is when they begin the communication plan to share the news publicly. Dr. Dupre personally shares the information on Twitter (@superdupre), and the information is also sent in other ways including our website/social media, the parent notification system, and local media. The Board of Trustees and other members of the senior leadership team are also notified.
Please review the Emergency Arrival and Dismissal Matrix for information about schedule changes due to inclement weather. The matrix provides parents, students and staff with an overview of the impact on programs and services across the District should there be a delay, early dismissal or closing.
Emergencies - In an emergency, always dial 911. School-related emergencies or situations that require police assistance should also be reported to the FBISD Police Department by calling (281) 634-5500.
Do you have a missed call from (281) 634-8500? This is the phone number assigned to FBISD's parent notification system. Please make note of this number for future reference.
As decisions are made, updates are also posted on our social media channels. Go like our Facebook page, Fort Bend ISD and follow us on Twitter, @FortBendISD so you can stay up-to-date with the latest information.