The threat of severe weather forced several schools in the Channel 3 viewing area to close or dismiss early. An email from Hamilton County Schools caused some confusion for some families.

Parents received alerting them Hamilton County Schools planned to operate on a half-day and that tier 1 schools will release at 10:30 a.m. and each successive tier would release 45 minutes after. It had some parents wondering when to pick up their children.

"That’s the first time I ever had it included in a pickup message and that was a little confusing. I don't think they should do that, they should just across the board close Hamilton county schools at the same time because that can be very confusing," said Red Bank High School Parent, Lysa Scealf.

A district spokesperson tells Channel 3 they use a tier system because their buses make three different runs a day to pick up and drop off students.

Tiers are based on what time their child's schools start:

  • Tier 1 schools open between 7:15-7:25 a.m.
  • Tier 2 Schools start between 8-8:30 a.m.
  • Tier 3 Schools start later than 8:45 a.m.

The tier system is based on when schools start each morning, and to make the best use of buses,  schools in the same tier release at the same time. Some parents like Anthony Smith said they wish they had known that earlier.

“I think they should send out flyers, or like they have the phone calls, and they call you or a weather alert or something like that,” Smith said.

Regardless, most parents said their glad the school district is playing it safe.

"Over the years they've waited for the last-minute to call, and then parents get stuck in the severe weather trying to get their kids out all at once, there's crowding and it's treacherous,” Scealf said.

The students were happy too.

"A lot of the times it seems like Hamilton county has been trigger-happy with canceling school and we have gotten out for snow days that never happened and blizzards that turned out to be 70 degrees, but this seems like it's actually going to be a good storm so I’m happy that we got out,” said Red Bank High School Student, Patrick Redden said.

Hamilton County Schools said if parents do not know what tier their students are in they can find starting bells on each individual school's website, as well as on the district website.