Five years have passed since inclement weather in Dallas County caused the Dallas County Community College District to close for an entire day. But according to The Dallas Morning News, there is a chance the city could see some snow this month.
Many steps go into the decision to cancel classes and close offices because of inclement weather. The process involves several people including Chancellor Joe May, Executive Vice Chancellor Justin Lonon and all seven college presidents.
MAKING A CALL
Brookhaven President Linda Braddy said once it has been determined that inclement weather is imminent, all the presidents must coordinate a conference call around 4 a.m. with May and Lonon to discuss whether the district should be closed.
“Prior to this call, the on-duty police officers assess their respective campuses to determine how treacherous the roads and parking lots are and report their findings to their respective president,” Braddy said in an email to The Courier. The college presidents report their campus’ status during the call and the chancellor makes the decision to close the campuses from their reports.
“When we have inclement weather, it typically affects the whole county, so it is wise to close all the campuses,” Braddy said. “With our move to one college, it will be even more important to stay on the same work and class schedule at all the campuses.”
The district also interacts with local independent school districts to make its decisions, Braddy said. Some DCCCD students have children who attend the different school districts around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which may affect their ability to attend classes.
GETTING THE WORD OUT
Once it has been determined that the district will close for the day, Braddy said it is important to communicate this decision to students and employees as soon as possible. Breyana Holland, a student, said that in the event of inclement weather, she would check eCampus and the college’s social media accounts to see if her classes were canceled.
According to DCCCD’s safety program emergency plan, the college presidents must establish a plan to notify the appropriate news media of any changes to the district’s regular schedule. The district marketing officer is then responsible for notifying local news media outlets and updating the district’s website and social media accounts. Each college also has its own marketing staff who update their website and social media.
The students and employees who have signed up for DCCCD’s emergency alerts receive text messages that are usually sent out during class cancellations or in the event of any type of emergency.
CAMPUS WEATHER STATION
Chaz Hafey, astronomy and physics lab coordinator, is a trained National Weather Service weather spotter. He said a receiver on campus constantly collects underground and ambient weather data that anybody can access. Brookhaveans can get detailed weather information for Brookhaven from the weather station on campus using the Weather Underground app or website using the station identifier KTXFARME39. Campus weather information can also be found on Ambient Weather.