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Severe Weather and Emergency Closings Procedures

When severe weather or emergencies impact Cincinnati Public Schools, an alert banner will display on this website.

  • For severe weather, an ORANGE banner is displayed, announcing whether schools are closed or delayed. 
  • For an emergency, a RED banner is displayed with the appropriate information and plan of action.

Information on school closings or delays also is available via:

  • Automated phone calls from CPS to all parents/guardians who are in CPS' database.
  • CPS’ mobile app, which sends information to a Smartphone or tablet.
  • Local TV and radio stations (live and on stations’ websites)

Severe-Weather Procedure Details for Parents and Students

The Cincinnati Public Schools’ severe weather procedure aims to minimize the loss of instructional time while being mindful of students' and employees' safety.

When severe weather is predicted, parents should check the CPS website or local television or radio stations, for announcements about school closings or delays. Alerts also are available on the CPS mobile app. The most complete and detailed information is available on the CPS website, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the procedure.

CPS rarely will dismiss schools early, but it does happen occasionally. Please make sure your child’s school office has correct emergency contact information.

We know that start delays and no-school days for snow or extreme cold represent an inconvenience to parents, so we do our best to declare them only when necessary.

Schools Closed

  • Decisions to close schools are made only after analyzing much data and consulting various authorities.
  • After reviewing all information available, the superintendent consults with senior staff, bus company operators and City of Cincinnati road maintenance authorities, and makes a decision as soon as possible (usually by 5 a.m.).

Two-hour Delay — for Elementary Schools ONLY:

  • Yellow buses (which transport elementary school students only) will pick up students at morning bus stops two hours later than normal.
  • Students who are driven to school by parents should try to arrive at schools when it is safe. Walkers should arrive when it is safe. No new material will be covered during the two-hour delayed start; teachers will use this opportunity for review and enrichment.
  • Afternoon dismissal will occur at each elementary school's normal time.
  • No preschool bus service will be available.

High Schools — Operate on Normal Schedules during Two-Hour Delays:

  • High school students ride Metro buses (public transportation) to and from schools. Metro bus schedules cannot be adjusted to accommodate CPS’ two-hour delay, so high schools will open at the normal times with school staff in the building to supervise students.
  • Metro buses will run as close to normal schedules as weather and road conditions permit.
  • Afternoon dismissal will occur at each high school's normal time.

Printable PDF - Severe-Weather Procedure Details for Parents and Students (updated Nov. 30, 2016)

Schools Are Closed or Delayed Only When Necessary

“Snow days”  - no-school days due to snow or extreme cold - are inconvenient for parents, so the superintendent closes or delays schools only when necessary. 

The superintendent and her team aim to make decisions about school closings or delays prior to 5 a.m. so this website and the news media can relay information to parents in time for child-care decisions to be made.

Some of the resources used in the decision-making process include:

  • Accuweather forecast, National Weather Service forecast and local weather forecast (TV stations)
  • City of Cincinnati's Highway Maintenance Department
  • Metro bus & taxi dispatchers
  • Yellow bus companies

FAQ —Two-Hour Delay (applies to elementary schools only)

The following policy also applies to parochial and private-school children who rely on CPS for yellow-bus transportation.

Elementary Schools:

  • Yellow buses (which transport elementary school students only) will pick up students at morning bus stops two hours later than normal.
  • Students who are driven to school by parents should try to arrive at schools when it is safe. Walkers should arrive when it is safe. No new material will be covered; teachers will use this opportunity for review and enrichment.
  • No preschool bus service will be available.
  • Afternoon dismissal will occur at each elementary school's normal time.

High Schools:

  • High school students ride Metro buses (public transportation) to and from schools. Metro bus schedules cannot be adjusted to accommodate a CPS’ two-hour delay, so two-hour delays do not apply to high schools. High schools will open at the normal times during two-hour delays. Metro buses will run as close to normal schedules as weather and road conditions permit.
  • Afternoon dismissal will occur at each high school's normal time.

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