Winter Weather Protocols
District 196 handles weather-related school cancellations and delayed starts per district policy, and here is where to find information and how these schedule changes affect different programs and activities.
District leaders understand these decisions impact many families throughout the district who need to arrange care for their children when 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 our 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.
Communication regarding snow-related cancellations and delays
By 5:30 a.m., the superintendent decides to take one of the following actions: open schools on time, delay the start of school or cancel school. These decisions are generally not made the night before because of uncertainty about weather and driving conditions for the following morning.
If the decision is to hold school as normal, there will be no communication. Information regarding school cancellations and delayed starts is shared in the following ways:
- Website – A popup will be posted on the district website at District196.org, as well as all schools on the district’s new website platform; 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).
- District information line – Call 651-423-7700 for a recording with information about the schedule change.
- TV and radio – Twin Cities television stations broadcast information regarding school schedule changes; look for "Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools."
If school is canceled, all daytime and after-school community education activities, including early childhood and Adult Basic Education (ABE) are also canceled, as well as all elementary and middle school after-school and evening activities. YMCA School-Age Care (SAC) will be canceled when there is a snow-related cancellation; SAC will be held at pre-determined locations if there is a temperature-related school cancellation. Decisions about whether to hold afternoon and evening high school and community education activities are communicated on the district website and information line by 3 p.m.
If the opening of school is delayed, all school buses operate on a two-hour delayed schedule, meaning students will be picked up at their bus stops two hours later than their normal pickup time. If the start of school is delayed, the following activities are cancelled: morning and afternoon early childhood special education (ECSE) and early childhood family education (ECFE) classes, morning and afternoon Connections Preschool classes and morning community education activities, including SAC and ABE.
Communication regarding cold weather-related cancellations and delays
Decisions to cancel school due to cold weather are made by 6:30 p.m. the night before and shared using the same communication methods. It is displayed 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.
Similar to guidelines followed by other area school districts, District 196 schools will close for cold weather IFthe 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 canceled for cold weather, the School Age Care (SAC) program is offered at predetermined locations ONLY for families who are currently enrolled in SAC. SAC is not offered on days when school is canceled due to snow.
If school is canceled for snow or cold weather, the following activities are also canceled:
- Connections preschool classes;
- Early Childhood Special Education classes;
- Early Childhood Family Education classes;
- Adult Basic Education classes;
- All Community Education daytime and after-school classes, and
- All elementary and middle school after-school and evening activities.
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 concerned about sending their child to school because of weather conditions.