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Winter Weather Protocols

District 196 handles weather-related school schedule changes per district policy, and here is where to find information and how these affect different programs and activities.

NEW PROTOCOLS FOR WEATHER-RELATED SCHEDULE CHANGES

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and expanded use of distance learning throughout, the district has implemented new winter weather protocols. District 196 will no longer cancel school due to snow, ice or cold temperatures. 
 

If the district determines it cannot safely transport students to school on a day of in-person, the district will announce it as a day of “distance learning for all students.” The decision will be made the night before, if possible, and will be communicated on the district website, social media, phone call, text and on local television stations. 
 

Students will use Seesaw and Schoology to get assignments and communicate with teachers during established office hours, similar to distance learning on Wednesdays. Child care for critical workers will not be offered on days shifted to distance learning for all students due to the weather.

District leaders understand these decisions impact many families who need to make alternate arrangements when in-person school is not in session. The overriding concern in making these decisions is the safety of students, staff and others in the community. Several factors are considered, including road conditions and visibility, snow depth, wind chill, the weather forecast for the remainder of the day and the actions of other districts in our area. Generally, if roads are passable and we believe buses will be able to complete their routes with only slight delays, school will be held. 

The superintendent makes these decisions based on what is best for all children in the district. If parents are ever concerned about sending their child to school because of weather conditions, it is always the parents’ choice to keep their child at home.

Communicating schedule changes for snow

If possible, a decision about whether to hold school in person will be made the evening before, or by 5:30 a.m. that day. If the decision is to hold school as scheduled, there is no communication from the district. If the decision is change to a distance learning day for all students, information is shared in the following ways:

  • Website – A popup will be posted on the district website at District196.org and all school websites; this is where the information is available first.

  • District social media – Twitter (@ISD196Schools) and Facebook (@District196) accounts will have the latest information.

  • Notification phone call – Parents/guardians and staff receive a notification phone call from the superintendent (for a districtwide schedule change) or principal (for an individual school schedule change).

  • Text messaging – Subscribers will receive a text notification. Text "Y" to 67587 to opt in. (Message and data rates may apply.)

  • District information line – Call 651-423-7700 for a recording with information about the schedule change.

  • Local television  – Twin Cities television stations broadcast information regarding school schedule changes; look for "Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools."

If the schedule is changed to distance learning for all students due to snow, the following activities are canceled:

  • YMCA School-Age Care (SAC);

  • Child care for Tier I critical workers;

  • All daytime and after-school Community Education activities, and  

  • All elementary and middle school after-school and evening activities. 

Decisions about afternoon and evening high school and Community Education activities are communicated on the district website and information line by 3 p.m.

If school is shifted to distance learning because of snow, the following classes will also be held via distance learning: 

  • Connections Preschool classes;

  • Early Childhood Special Education classes;

  • Early Childhood Family Education classes, and

  • Adult Basic Education classes.

Communicating schedule changes for cold

Decisions to shift to distance learning for all students due to cold weather are made by 6:30 p.m. the night before and shared using the same communication methods. The information is available first on the district website and social media. The district also sends a notification message (one phone call per family) and shares the information on local television stations.

District 196 schools will shift to distance learning for cold weather IF the National Weather Service forecast for 6 a.m. the following morning calls for: 

  • Air temperature of -25 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, OR

  • Wind chill of -35 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

These are dangerously cold conditions where frostbite may occur in less than 10 minutes.

If school is shifted to distance learning for all students for cold weather, the School Age Care (SAC) program is offered at predetermined locations ONLY for families who are currently enrolled in SAC. Child care for critical workers is not offered on days when school is distance learning due to cold. All Community Education daytime and after-school classes, and all elementary and middle school after-school and evening activities are also canceled.

If school is shifted to distance learning because of cold weather, the following classes will also be held via distance learning: 

  • Connections preschool classes;

  • Early Childhood Special Education classes;

  • Early Childhood Family Education classes, and

  • Adult Basic Education classes.

A decision about high school and Community Education evening activities is made by 3 p.m. and communicated on the front page of the district website.

Parents and guardians always have the choice to keep their child at home if they are concerned about sending their child to school because of weather conditions.

Snow on a school bus