How safe are the roads? How deep is the snow? How fast is it falling? Have there been any accidents? What is the wind chill? This is just some of the information we process when deciding whether schools should close because of snowy weather. It’s not always easy.

Parents tend to fall into two categories. There are those that get anxious when it snows and phone the school because they want their children home straight away or they are hoping the school is closed. At the other end, some parents get frustrated by school closures. Both sets of parents are concerned about child care arrangements and would prefer advanced notice about closures.

There are only 2 places where you are able to obtain the school closure information. One is on our website and the other See Saw from your classroom teacher.

If snow is forecasted for a particular day, we closely watch the forecast to inform our decision. We take into consideration road conditions, existing weather and the forecast. If needed, a secondary check in the morning of the inclement weather at 5:00 a.m. as well as a second check of the predicted weather. Finally, contact is made between the Principal and the Parish Education Committee Chairperson to make a final decision. We take into consideration the following information:

  • Road conditions: Are the roads slippery, slushy, icy? (We are not a neighbourhood school therefore students come from Surrey, Richmond, Coquitlam, Queensborough and also in walking distance.)
  • How much snow has fallen?
  • How long the snow will last? And what is the forecasted temperature?
  • How much snow could accumulate? And continue to accumulate?
  • How windy will it be? (Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage, especially after a cold snap and the amount of trees in OLM’s neighbourhood.)
  • Whether or not it will be wet snow (Heavy snow could bring down trees and power lines.)
  • The conditions of routes to school including paths and roads. What will the roads be like in the morning and after school? What conditions are the sidewalks in?
  • Unfortunately, not all cars have winter tires which increase the likelihood of accidents.
  • Is the school’s parking lot plowed?

Bottom line: How safe is it for our school community to get to and from school?