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Series 709.1AR - Emergency School Closing

Adopted: November 1976
Revised: October 2017

1.    Schedule Change Decisions Made by Superintendent – Decisions to cancel or shorten the regular school day and after-school activities shall be made by the superintendent in consultation with other staff as appropriate. Although severe weather conditions are the most common reason for a change of school schedule, other events could necessitate the delay, cancellation or early dismissal of school.

1.1   Beginning of School Day – If poor weather conditions or other emergency situations arise prior to the beginning of the school day, the superintendent will discuss the situation with appropriate staff and authorize one of the following options:

1.1.1  School will begin as scheduled.

1.1.2  School will begin two hours late.

1.1.2.1    All buses (except those for classes and activities noted in section 1.1.2.2 below) will operate on a normal, but two-hour delayed schedule.

1.1.2.2    When school begins two hours late, the following will be CANCELED:

  • Morning Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes;

  • All Connections Preschool classes;

  • Morning and afternoon Early Childhood Family Education classes (ECFE);

  • Morning and afternoon Early Childhood Special Education classes (ECSE);

  • Morning School-Age Care (SAC), and

  • All morning community education activities.

1.1.2.3        When school begins two hours late, after-school and evening activities, including ABE, ECFE and SAC, will take place as scheduled.

1.1.3  School will be canceled.

1.1.3.1        All regularly scheduled classes, all daytime and after-school community education activities, ABE, ECSE, ECFE, and all elementary and middle school after-school and evening activities will be canceled for the entire day.

1.1.3.2        SAC will be canceled when there is a snow-related school cancellation; SAC will be held at predetermined locations if there is a temperature-related school cancellation.  

1.1.3.3        A decision about high school and community education evening activities will be made by the director of secondary education and the director of community education, respectively, by 3 p.m.

1.2   During School Day, After School and Evening – If there is a need to change the schedule during the school day, the superintendent will discuss the situation with the appropriate staff and authorize one of the following options:

1.2.1  Continue with Regularly Scheduled School Day – The school day, including after-school and evening activities, will continue on a regular schedule for the remainder of the day.

1.2.2  Schedule Change During School Day – The schedule of school activities will be changed in one or more of the following ways:

1.2.2.1    Afternoon Connections Preschool, after-school community education activities, ABE, ECSE, ECFE and SAC will be canceled;

1.2.2.2    Schools will be dismissed early (decision to be made no later than two hours before school dismissal time), or

1.2.2.3    All middle school and high school activity bus routes (not necessarily activities) will be canceled (decision to be made no later than 30 minutes before school dismissal time; elementary principals to be informed).

1.2.3  Cancel After-School and Evening Activities – The superintendent may decide to cancel all or some after-school activities (decision must be made no later than 30 minutes before school dismissal time) and/or all or some evening activities (decision to be made no later than 3 p.m.).

1.2.4  The principal of an individual school may decide to cancel k-12 after-school and/or evening activities due to existing or predicted weather conditions even if such activities are not canceled districtwide by the superintendent. (The principal does not have the option to cancel community education activities.) However, if the superintendent cancels after-school and/or evening activities districtwide, a principal may not continue with after-school and/or evening activities at his or her school.

1.3   School Activities Held on Weekends and Vacations – If a school’s activity schedule must change during a weekend or vacation period, the principal will decide the advisability of canceling or postponing activities. This decision shall be made in consultation with the coordinator of transportation if district vehicles are involved. As a result, one of the following options will be authorized by the principal:

1.3.1  School activities will continue on a regular schedule, or

1.3.2  The schedule of activities will be changed and the principal will notify those affected; WCCO radio and television, if appropriate; his or her director, and the coordinator of facilities.

2.    Community Education – If it appears there may be a need to change the schedule of community education activities, the director of community education will decide the advisability of canceling or postponing activities. This decision will be made in consultation with the director of elementary education and, as appropriate, the director of secondary education. As a result, one of the following options will be authorized by the director of community education:

2.1   Community education activities will continue as scheduled, or

2.2   The schedule of activities will be changed and the director of community education will notify those affected; designated radio and television stations, if appropriate; the superintendent, and the coordinator of facilities.

2.2.1  Weekday schedule changes to community education activities will be decided by 1 p.m. for after-school activities and by 3 p.m. for evening activities (See Section 1.2.3).

2.2.2  Weekend or vacation schedule changes to community education activities will be decided by the director of community education who will determine the advisability of canceling or postponing activities. If the schedule of activities is changed, the director of community education will notify those affected; designated radio and television stations, if appropriate; the superintendent, and the coordinator of facilities.

3.    Communications Process – When schools are opened on a delayed schedule, canceled at the beginning of the school day or dismissed early during the school day, the decision will be communicated with staff and parents via the district website and social media channels, mass notification telephone service, television and radio stations, and on the District Office telephone recording line.

4.    Employee Obligations – All employees are to report to work in accordance with established contract provisions and practices with Independent School District 196.

Regulations/709.1AR/10-30-17