Like other schools and districts, MCSD expects infrequent and unpredictable disruptions in school schedules and activity plans due to weather, emergencies, natural disasters, and health-related conditions. Decisions to modify schedules are not always simple – they involve many moving parts to execute.
It’s important to know that we have invested in robust and varied communication tools and strategies to keep our Murray families, students, and personnel informed early and often.
District communications include this website (home page news feed), ParentSquare, our automated calling system, our Facebook page, and our Salt Lake area local news media outlets. Families must keep their contact information current in Aspire, as this system is critical to our ability to push out updated information to families.
IMPORTANT: Please also note that our priority is securing the safety of our students FIRST, followed quickly by distributing official information across the channels and platforms mentioned above. YOU can help us keep the information accurate by only referring and sharing information from official district and school communications sources – this helps protect the safety and informed decision-making for all.
Public Information Officer/Communications Director:
Doug Perry | 801-264-7400 | email@example.com
Office Hours: 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
5102 Commerce Drive | Building #1 | Murray, Utah 84107
Our job of educating students is important. But like any public service, families rely on schools as a fixture of stability and safety. Here are the key reasons we stay open when it might not seem necessary or apparent:
- Large numbers of our students rely on our school breakfast and lunch program. These meals are not simply a convenience; they provide a stable source of nutrition that is skipped when schools are closed.
- A significant number of students in the district will remain home alone without supervision during a closure. Many families are unable to adjust work schedules on short notice.
- In addition to classroom instruction, a functioning and fully-staffed school building provide warmth and safety.
Murray City School District will remain open if at all possible on all scheduled school days, even when weather conditions appear to be especially challenging. However, families are encouraged to make attendance decisions for their student(s) based on their unique circumstances and specific ability to get to school SAFELY.
The impact of weather conditions is not always universally the same across the district. for example, roads are not all plowed at the same time, nor are accumulations the same from one side of the district to the other. As such, we rely on the prudent decision-making of parents and will honor decisions to remain at home. Likewise, parents are welcome to pick up students at school any time they feel that transportation or other conditions present a safety concern.
District administrators monitor the weather and other conditions continuously (weekends, overnight, and early-morning hours, as necessary). Additionally, they communicate with the National Weather Service experts, the Department of Transportation, Murray City, and the Murray Board of Education prior to making any decisions.
As information is assembled, reviewed, and discussed collectively, the Murray Board of Education makes a final determination. This triggers a tree of information sharing among district and school officials until all personnel, students, and their families are notified as early as possible and in multiple ways.
As we have had lots of experience conducting digital home learning through the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel this has prepared our educators and students for interruptions in school schedules. To this end, if we anticipate closing school due to weather or other conditions we will do our best to anticipate this one school day ahead of time so that students and teachers can prepare.
Preparation for a digital home learning day will include bringing home devices and materials that will allow students to continue learning from home. If there is a digital home learning day expected, school schedules will be delayed two hours that day. Additional days and their schedules will be determined and we invite families to watch for school and district announcements.
When there is a full closure of schools for one day, the following will be in effect. Additional days will be subject to plans created and announced sometime during the first day:
- All Field Trips Cancelled
- All School Lunch and Breakfast Cancelled
- Pre-school, AM and PM Kindergarten Cancelled
- All-day kindergarten will move to remote learning and start two hours later
- Extra-curricular activities and outside building rentals will be TBD (watch for school announcements)
Parents are encouraged to create an emergency plan for their students determining where to go or what to do if a parent is not home and schools are closed, delayed, or dismissed early. In the event of an early release, elementary and middle school students will be held at school until parents or guardians are notified and arrangements are made to keep the students safe.
When there is any Emergency School Closure Protocol underway within the MCSD, please watch for updates from this website (home page), ParentSquare, or our Facebook page to learn the status of after-school scheduled activities.
MCSD is sensitive to air quality safety issues. We follow specific guidelines from the Utah Department of Health and the Department of Air Quality. Click here to review those guidelines (Recess Guidance for Schools).
Currently, the above-linked guidelines indicate that when the PM (Particulate Matter) goes above the 55.4 mark or 150 AQI (Air Quality Index) levels, all students will remain indoors for recess. School administrators, coaches, and district officials monitor these conditions and make decisions on a day-to-day basis.
If parents request their student stay in because of respiratory or other health issues, or if they have a doctor's note, school officials will make the necessary adjustments to make this happen and/or communicate with families regarding their unique circumstances.
Rain and Wind
Depending on the severity of the rain and/or wind (taking into consideration ambient air temperature, health and
safety factors), elementary principals or designees will determine whether students should participate in recess
or other outdoor activities.
Secondary principals/teachers/coaches or designees will determine whether students should participate in
outdoor PE and organized extra-curricular activities.
During winter months, elementary students must be frequently reminded to come to school dressed for the elements and to be prepared for outdoor recess. On a few occasions, the ambient temperature or the wind chill temperature will dip low enough that outdoor activities would be unwise. It is the responsibility of the principal or designee to monitor the weather conditions daily for their school.
For purposes of these administrative guidelines and procedures, the District uses the temperature, humidity, wind speed, and other weather indicators as reported by local news outlets, on-site weather stations, and The Weather Channel (www.weather.com)
- Any time during the school day that the ambient air temperature or wind chill temperature is 15⁰ Fahrenheit
(− 9.4⁰ Celsius), or colder, all students should remain indoors.
- Any time during the school day that the ambient air temperature or wind chill temperature is between 15⁰
Fahrenheit and 20⁰ Fahrenheit (− 6.7⁰ Celsius), principals or designees will determine whether students should participate in recess or other outdoor activities. The weather elements considered in this decision
are precipitation, wind, and the condition of playground surfaces and equipment (snow and ice).
- Additionally, under Board Policy PS 419, at 20⁰ Fahrenheit or colder, elementary and secondary principals or
designees should ensure that the doors to the school are open 30 minutes before school start time or the arrival of the first bus, if applicable.
* Sensitive students may include those with asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic lung disease, congenital heart disease,
compromised immune systems, or other respiratory problems.
** Respiratory symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.