Dear Parents/Guardians,

Spring has finally made its debut and with its arrival comes the potential for severe weather. This letter is to make you aware of the district’s severe weather procedures and provide you more information about our sheltering capabilities at Orvis Risner.

Edmond Public School students and staff take shelter when a tornado warning is issued or the city tornado sirens are activated in the vicinity during school hours. Students remain sheltered until the “all-clear” is given by the district office.

At Orvis Risner, students and non-essential staff shelter in the media center with the capacity of 700 people to seek such shelter. Threatening weather that approaches at the end of the school day can present additional challenges. If a tornado warning is in place at dismissal time, we will not release students to go home until the “all-clear” is given by the district’s safety director. Buses will be held and will not be in transit when there is immediate pending severe weather. If a tornado watch is in place at dismissal time, students will be released and sent home and buses will run.

Attendance Considerations:

Because the district has so many safe rooms (22 total with 14 built since the 2013 Moore tornado), we do not cancel school when severe weather is threatened. If you choose to keep your child(ren) home or check them out early due to weather conditions, please be advised that attendance requirements remain in place.  You may contact the school to report your child(ren)’s excused absence. At the high schools, such absences are recorded and included in the count for test exemptions.

Additionally, please be advised that Edmond school buildings are not public storm shelters. The Central Oklahoma Emergency Management Association recommends that a personal storm shelter is the best option to protect you and your family during threatening weather.

Considerable time and effort go into conducting weather drills during the school year to prepare students and staff should weather become threatening. We want to assure you that the safety of your children is of utmost importance.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.



Penny V. Gooch


To read more about the district’s severe weather policies, click the link below:

Weather Procedures