Snow Day Information

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The Diocese of Columbus Education staff understands that our decision to open or close schools in bad weather has a significant impact on families.  We also understand that our students are better served--both academically and socially--by being in school.  However, the students are always the top priority.

How do we make the decision?

Please understand that the decision to open or close schools in bad weather is based on careful consideration of all relevant factors, such as:

  • Information on road conditions Even if the streets in your area do not seem to be "that bad," the students in our schools come from a great number of different school districts.  We have to look at all the areas from which our students will be coming.  Additionally, many of our high school students are driving to school from great distances, and their safety is a primary consideration.
  • Amount of snow and ice accumulated
  • Outlook for continued precipitation
  • Building conditions (such as whether there is electricity or heat).
  • Temperature and wind chill Please remember that some of our students walk to school and some must wait for the bus.
  • Weather predictions  We prefer not to make decisions based on weather predictions - which are not always accurate - however, we must use the information available to us.
Who makes the decision?

As superintendent of schools, I make the decision for buildings located in the Columbus Public School District.  Parents of children in our schools inside of Franklin County, but not in the Columbus Public area, need to consult their parent handbook to know the proper procedure to follow.  Parents of children outside of Franklin County should also consult their parent handbook for information relating to school closing.

How is the public notified?

A member of my staff contacts the media and asks that the announcement be made for Columbus Catholic Schools.  Unless you see or hear that Columbus Catholic Schools have closed, our schools will be open.  If your school is located outside of Columbus Public, consult your parent handbook for directions.

When is the decision made?

The decision is usually made before 6 AM, but no later than 6:30 AM.  After 6:30 AM, the buses are already on their way to pick up students.

Will we close school if conditions worsen?

Keep in mind that once the decision to keep schools open is made, we cannot reverse the decision in the morning without endangering students.  Once the decision is made to open the schools, many parents rely on that information to make work plans.  If we would attempt to send the students back home, many would be returning to empty homes.  If conditions become worse and an early dismissal is necessary, parents will receive adequate notification prior to dismissal. 

Although my staff and I do our best in this process, we know that there is no perfect decision.  If we have not announced the Columbus Catholic Schools are closed and you do not feel that it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best judgment whether or not to send your child.

We hope that this helps you to understand the process that is used to make decisions about school closings.

Lucia D. McQuaide, Superintendent

Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus 197 E Gay St, Columbus Ohio 43215  |  Phone: 614-221-5829  |  Fax: 614-241-2563  |