Emergency procedures and school closings

  • General procedures

    In general, our schools remain in session if it is at all possible. Changes are made only when conditions develop which may be detrimental to the health and safety of students or staff.
     
    Parents/guardians are requested each year to provide emergency information for each child enrolled in school. It is essential that “Emergency Data” information be completed for emergency use. Parents assume responsibility for keeping the information up-to-date. Emergency Data information is inputted in the INFOSNAP system.  

    Phone Alert System

    In the event of an emergency or school closing, BPS utilizes an emergency alert phone system to reach parents and guardians. Contact your school to confirm the correct contact number is on file.

    Weather Related Closings

    Inclement weather is the most common reason schools are closed, start times are delayed or students are dismissed early. The decision to close schools is made by the Superintendent upon the advice of the Manager of Transportation Services and local police authorities.
    When weather conditions make school closings seem likely, students and parents/guardians are advised to:
    • Listen for school closing announcements on major radio and television stations.
    • Call the BPS information line recording. To reach the recording, call 248.203.3000 (the main BPS line) or any main school phone number and access closing information by pressing 4.
    • Check the district website at www.birmingham.k12.mi.us
    If schools are open, but weather conditions make the trip to school seem unsafe, parents/guardians are advised to keep their students at home.

    Transportation

    School bus routes may occasionally be affected by inclement weather, traffic conditions or emergency situations. For the latest information, call the Transportation Department hotline at 248.203.3960.

    VNS

    All BPS buildings use a Visitor Notification System (VNS) at building entrances. This security measure requires visitors to stop at the entrance and be buzzed in by building staff. A personal ID may be requested.

    Early Dismissal

    If threatening weather or mechanical failures require the closing of some or all schools after students have arrived, every effort will be made to notify parents/guardians of the closing. As a backup plan, parents/guardians should talk to their students about where they may go and what to do in case of early dismissal so that students are not at home alone.
     
    Elementary School Procedures: Each school principal develops procedures for early dismissal that are best suited to the needs of the students in an individual school. This information is provided to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year, and intermittently during the year.
     
    Middle School and High School Procedures: When early dismissal becomes necessary, bus students will remain at school until transportation is available. Other students will be dismissed to walk home.

    Tornadoes

    In the event of a tornado watch or warning, schools are notified immediately through our communication link with the National Weather Service authorities. Although tornadoes are a rare occurrence, each school conducts tornado drills as it does fire drills, so that all students are familiar with the procedure to be followed.
     
    Students are not sent home when a tornado has been sighted in the area. Students are safer in the school building than they would be traveling home. Appropriate safety measures will be taken and students will stay in their emergency stations until schools have been notified that the danger is over. Under certain circumstances, such as fallen wires or trees, students may also be kept in school after the “all clear” signal.
     
    Parents/guardians who feel the need to pick their student up must stop at the school office first. Remember, however, that the presence of many adults in the school building will only complicate the situation for staff and students. Please do not telephone the school during a tornado warning. It is essential that lines be kept open for emergencies.

    Emergency Drills

    Throughout the school year, drills are performed for fire, tornado and lockdown scenarios. These drills are intended to ensure that staff and students are well prepared in the unlikely event of an emergency. Find the BPS records for Emergency Drills