Winter Weather Policies

Girl crawling out of primitive structure in forest during winter homeschool nature class

Stay Updated

With the goal of keeping our programs accessible to families throughout the Buncombe County area we will be observing the Weather Safety directives issued by the Buncombe County Public School system(BCS for short).  This means that if the Buncombe County Schools cancel a day of public school due to ice or snow, so will Forest Floor.

This only applies if BCS issues a directive for ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.  If only one or two districts in the county have a delayed start or cancellation, our schedule will remain unchanged.  You can stay altered to the latest weather related school announcements in a number of ways:

  • Smartphone App:  Download the Buncombe County Schools app for iOS or Android
  • Visiting their website a and look for the red alert bar under the main menu.
  • Social Media:  Like/Follow @BuncombeSchools on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Weather Hotline:  call their Weather Hotline at 828-255-5939 (English) or 828-255-5948 (Spanish).
  • Phone/Email:  Both the Field Director for this program as well as the general Youth Programs Director will be monitoring BCS alerts closely, and will do their best to notify families of delays or cancellations via email and phone/text.  Also, feel free to call/text/email the Field Director of your program if you’re unsure.

    Delayed Start

    Due to icy road conditions in the morning hours, occasionally BCS will issue a delayed start, either a “1-hour delay” or a “2-hour delay”, meaning that public school begins 1 or 2 hours later than usual.  Because our programs begin later than public schools, nothing changes for us with a 1-hour delay, and a 2-hour delay translates for us to a 30 minute delay.  This means that if BCS calls a 2-hour, delay drop-off at HCC with be 10-10:15 a.m. and Shope Creek will be 10:15-10:30 a.m.  In the case of a Delayed Start refunds will not be provided.


    In the event that BCS cancels due to unsafe driving conditions, or if the Program Director cancels due to severe cold, parents will be notified via email and phone calls as soon as possible.  At that point the price of the program will be reduced to account for fewer days(in which case refunds may be in order for those who’ve already paid full tuition).

    Cold Weather Clothes

    When the outdoor temperature is regularly dropping below 55 degrees it is necessary that children have clothing that will keep them both warm AND dry.  Add a bit of rain to a cold day and, if your children are not appropriately dressed, there is a very real risk of hypothermia.  WARNING: If children do not arrive appropriately dressed for the weather, for their safety they will be sent home for that day.  Appropriate cold weather clothes include the following items…


    • Waterproof rain/mud boots
    • Wool Socks(plus and extra pair in their backpack in case the first get wet)
    • Wool or synthetic Long Johns(thermal underwear), top and bottom
    • Rain coat AND rain pants, or rain poncho
    • Wool or synthetic hat that will cover the ears
    • Warm mittens(preferred) or gloves(OK)
    • COTTON CLOTHING CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS ON DAYS THAT ARE BOTH COLD & WET and should be avoided.  Cotton is totally fine and appropriate for mild sunny days, but can quickly wick heat from the body when cold and wet, even when the ambient temperature is well above freezing.  Wool and synthetic materials are much better at keeping children warm.
    Camper at Winter homeschool nature connection camp tracking animals in mud by creek

    ⬇︎ Here is a fun video from our friends at Trackers Earth about how to dress kids for the cold weather ⬇︎