Policies and procedures during severe weather
How is the decision made to close
or delay school?
School officials consult several sources to determine weather and road conditions. They advise the superintendent, who makes the final decision to delay school starting times or close school. Read the district’s Emergency School Closure Procedures for more details.
When is the decision made to close school?
The superintendent makes the final decision for a change in normal operations on inclement weather days with public notification by 5:30 a.m. Exceptions may occur on days when weather or road conditions change rapidly during the morning hours. See the Closure Procedures page for more information.
When will snow be cleared from schools?
School parking and driveway areas are cleared with the following priority:
- Faculty and public parking, including fire hydrants at schools without internal sprinkler systems and primary fire lanes.
- Bus lanes
- Handicap parking
- Student parking
- Secondary fire lanes
- Snow removal and hauling to dump sites
- Skating rinks and cross country ski trail assembly areas
Following a snowstorm, student parking areas might not be plowed by the start of the school day. Students who normally drive to school should consider taking the bus or carpooling until student parking areas are cleared.
Will after-school activities be canceled?
On days when school is in session but conditions deteriorate over the course of the day, a decision about whether to continue after-school activities is usually made around 1 p.m. at the district level. That information is shared through the same communication channels that we make closures announcements.
However, schools may also make local decisions about activities at their school so it's always a good idea to stay tuned into announcements throughout the afternoon.
Why don't you post updates when schools are open?
Our old website had a status message of "all schools open and on time" that would change when closures or delays were announced. But on those days we found that it could also give a false sense of security. While every effort is made to notify the public by 5:30 a.m., with changing conditions and dynamic emergency situations it's not always possible to meet that deadline. So if someone checks the website a few minutes before 5:30 a.m. or before an update is published and sees a status of "all schools open" they're getting inaccurate information. It’s better to assume schools are open and stay tuned in to district sources and the media for the latest updates in the event that the status changes.
Is school closed or delayed today?
Notice of all closures and delays is posted on the ASD Home page. The absence of a notice indicates there are no delays or closures. Other outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and radio will also post closure information. A comprehensive notification source list can be found at right under the "Closure Info" heading.
Can I keep my child at home?
Parents are encouraged to use their judgment to determine what is best for their children. Parents and guardians should notify their children’s school of the excused absence.
What factors are considered in deciding
to close schools?
Safety of students and staff is the number one priority when the decision is made whether to close schools. The superintendent must also weigh the effects a potential closure may have on the community. For example:
- Many parents must find immediate child care or stay home from work for the day. In turn, the workforce across the municipality may be drastically reduced.
- The district has a limited number of snow days available for use before it is forced to add days to the school calendar.
- A closure may affect the critical, high-stakes testing and assessment calendar set by the state.
- Many students close to graduation need credit hours and lessons completed to earn a diploma. A closure may have a negative impact on their efforts.
Why didn't I get a phone call about the closure?
When closures are limited to a single school or a small region, we use our School Messenger "robocall" system to call affected families and notify them about the closure. When all schools are closed, we use our regular communication tools for school closures that can get the word out quickly – the website, social media, and local television and radio stations. We do not use the "robocall" system for districtwide closures because there simply isn't enough time in the morning for our system to make it through the thousands of calls needed to reach everyone. Parents should keep an eye on those sources whenever they hear about poor weather conditions being forecast.