Appropriate reactions of parents and guardians of children in schools and after-school programs.

The municipalities in the capital area, in collaboration with education authorities and the police,have charged the Capital District Fire and Rescue Service with monitoring the weather and weather forecast for the area and sending announcements to parents if there is reason for concern.

Responsibility of parents and guardians

It is important that parents and guardians also keep track of the weather and weather forecasts and behave in accordance with the conditions at any given time. Weather can develop in unforeseen ways; bad weather can suddenly set in and conditions in various neighbourhoods of the capital area can be very different.

Schools, after-school programs are open unless otherwise notified. There can be disruptions in normal operations in the mornings due to lack of staff, therefore parents may be asked to help with certain tasks when they arrive with their children at school. Parents are encouraged to respond positively to such requests.

Parents themselves should always assess whether they need to accompany their child to school even when no announcement has been made by the authorities. If parents believe it unsafe for their children to attend school, they should notify the school staff who will regard such cases as normal absences. The same applies if parents encounter difficulties on their way to school and have to abandon the journey.

It is important that people do not leave for school or work if they are unsure of their safety or are ill equipped to go, for example because their vehicles are ill-equipped for winter driving.

Announcements

Announcements are sent out in collaboration with the Meteorological Office based on their colour coded warning system. Information on the system you can find here http://en.vedur.is/about-imo/news/imoimpact-based-color-coded-warnings-on-web

If the Meteorological Office has issued an orange or red warning, then the announcements of disruption will be sent out.

We try to send announcements about disruption of school operations and after-school programs as early as possible via radio stations and online media and, no later than 7 a.m. if the decision is taken early in the day.

It is important that parents and guardians listen for confirmed announcements and abide by them.

Most school telephone systems are not equipped to deal with a sudden load of inquiries, so parents are asked to follow announcements and gather information in the media,on the school’s webside or the Fire Department website shs.is and on the Facebook pages for the Fire Department and the Police. Parents should always look for confirmed announcements from the authorities on warning levels and avoid being governed by children’s own assessments of the conditions. Announcements from the Fire Department always apply to the larger capital area, but circumstances can vary widely in different neighbourhoods and towns.

The announcements will be issued as follows

  1. The day before because of weather forecast (orange or red warning the following day). (If the weather is fine the day after, an announcement is seldom sent, but parents need to monitor the weather).
  2. In the morning because of bad weather or road conditions (orange or red warning in the morning).
  3. In the afternoon if the weather worsens during school and after-school program. (orange or red warning during school and after-school programs).
  4. In the morning if the schools are closed due to weather (red warning).

These guidelines are meant for young children, the term “young children” means children under 12 years old, but this is only a guideline, any decisions are left to the discretion of their parents/guardians.