Occasional inclement weather may require CMS to close or delay the opening of schools or dismiss schools early. The safety of all children and staff members is the first concern of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools when making decisions about closing school or dismissing early.
Information will be available from the following sources:
- CMS website - For closings and delays, information will be posted by 5:30 a.m. Early dismissal information will be posted between 11:00 a.m. and noon.
- Closing will be announced on CMS TV.
- Local radio and television stations - for closings and delays, information will be distributed to the media by 5:30 a.m. Early dismissal information will be distributed between 11:00 a.m. and noon.
- Connect-ED voice and text messages.
When schools open two hours late because of severe weather, the start of school is delayed but the ending bell time does not change. All employees other than bus drivers will report to work at the usual time (unless a notification is issued). Principals will develop a modified bell schedule to accommodate the late start and will collaborate with the cafeteria manager on a lunch schedule that allows all students to eat.
If school is dismissed early, public notification will occur between noon and 1 p.m. All buses will follow their regular afternoon route sequence unless otherwise notified. All students will be delivered to their regularly assigned afternoon bus stops, except ASEP students, whose parents will pick them up at their home schools.
All students, whether they walk, ride the bus or get a ride to school, should be cautioned about safety issues when early dismissal occurs, particularly those who walk or drive themselves to school.
All CMS after-school activities (extra-curricular, athletic and community use of schools) will be canceled in the event of early dismissal. All students needing transportation should ride their assigned afternoon bus. For each student, schools should have an emergency dismissal form where parents have4 indicated how their child is to go home. (The form is available on the intranet.)
Should severe weather occur after schools have dismissed at the regular time, principals may opt to cancel after-school activities. They will need to contact their transportation specialists at least one hour before regular dismissal time. Principals may not cancel ASEP activities; however, they can confer with the ASEP director to determine if parents should be called to encourage early pick-up.
If schools are closed or dismissed early, all athletic practices and scheduled athletic events for the day are canceled. Any exceptions (such as out-of-town tournament events) must be approved by the director of athletics. If schools are dismissed at the regular time and the weather deteriorates during the afternoon, principals will decide whether to cancel practice. For a scheduled game, the home-team principal will make the decision to cancel or continue.
After-School Enrichment Program staff
If school is closed or dismissed early because of severe weather, the After-School Enrichment Program will be canceled. During early dismissals, ASEP staff and principals will collaborate to notify parents to pick up children at their home school, not the ASEP location. School administrators and teachers must give special attention to the dismissal of ASEP students if schools are dismissed early. On a regular school day, if weather conditions become hazardous while students are in ASEP, parents will be encouraged to pick up their children as soon as possible. In this case, programs will remain open until 6 p.m. Before-school programs will operate at the regular time on when schools open late.