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Sumner County school's logo
Sumner County Schools

Emergency Closings Published To:

What You Should Do When Severe Weather Occurs

When severe weather creates hazardous conditions in Sumner County, regular school scheduling may be suspended. Advance preparation enables the Sumner County School System to cope with such situations. The first condition for making a decision to suspend school system operations is safety. Approximately 14,500 pupils in 160 school buses travel daily over 12,000 miles on school bus routes. The condition of neighborhood streets during severe weather is usually far more hazardous than on major thoroughfares.

The major concern is the safety of all 29,000+ students and 2,000 plus school employees – those who ride buses, those who walk and those who drive their own cars to school or work.

How Decisions are made

The final decision for closing schools is made by the Director of Schools. He is in contact overnight with City Police Departments, the Sumner County Highway Department, the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department, the National Weather Service, Sumner County Emergency Management, Tennessee Highway Patrol and others who monitor reports of existing weather hazards. Between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m., the Director of Schools and the Director of Transportation are on city streets and county roads to assess road conditions. Other school personnel dispatch information and weather forecasts to the Director of Schools.

The decision is made prior to 5:00 a.m. and is sent to the public information officer who contacts the news media regarding school system closing. This information is normally broadcast on local radio and television stations by 5:00 a.m. The most recent decisions will be posted on the emergency web site at

Important to Keep in Mind

If, in a parent’s judgment, weather conditions represent a threat to the child’s safety, the parent should keep the child at home. It is the parent’s responsibility to monitor local news reports, this web site or to contact the local school to find out whether the school system has closed in the event of severe weather.

Handling Sudden Emergencies

Sumner County school officials meet sudden emergencies during the school day caused by storms or tornadoes with precision and concern for safety of students and staff. However, it is most important that parents be aware that they are responsible for their children if dismissal from schools takes place. Alternate arrangements must be made now by parents to house a child in case parents cannot be home. When severe weather watches are announced, immediate emergency procedures are taken for safety in schools or for dispatch of students to homes. School principals make key decisions about the safety of all students and personnel under their supervision. The Director of Schools or his designee makes the final decision whether or not to dismiss school (The Sumner County School System never dismisses students without this authorization).

Make Up Days

Because the Sumner County school day is longer than is required by State of Tennessee regulations, time is stockpiled as per state law to allow for up to 13 days of school being missed due to weather. Any days missed beyond that thirteen MUST be added to the end of the school year.

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