South Washington County Schools information and procedures pertaining to School Closings.

The district has no formal ‘policy’ for the decision-making process but does have some procedures on how the decision is made. The information below is meant to be a guideline for parents to understand the decision-making on whether to postpone the school day or cancel it all together.

Who Makes the Decision:  All school closings and/or schedule changes are decided by the Superintendent or his designee.  The most compelling reason for closing schools will be the safety of students and employees. Decisions to cancel or shorten the regular school day and after school activities shall be made by the Superintendent or his designee in consultation with other staff - and may include consultation with city personnel and neighboring school districts, as appropriate. The Director of Transportation shall be involved with these decisions as most involve the bussing of students.  Decisions on school closings and late starts will be made as early as possible – either the night before or as early in the morning as possible.

Why would the district consider closing or delaying the school day:  The decision may be the result of inclement weather, loss of power, water main break and/or other emergency situations that may occur within the district. The Superintendent works with the Director or Transportation to verify the conditions of the roads and the ability for all buses to start and drivers to be able to arrive in time for routes to run.

Communication:  All information will be communicated by the Director of Communications or designee through:

n   All-district phone call and email through Blackboard Connect

n   District website, Facebook and Twitter sites

n   TV stations - WCCO, KARE 11, KSTP and FOX 9 News

n   District cable channel 15

Late Starts and Early Dismissals:  Late starts and early dismissals are inherently difficult for many programs and parents. With this in mind, administration will do their best to keep these to a minimum. Early dismissals will be determined as conditions dictate. All families should have a contingency plan for their children in the event of school closings. All elementary families are encouraged to have a plan on file with the school so that staff will know how to direct their children in these situations.

Two-Hour Delayed Start: If a delayed start is called, the decision will be made by 5 a.m. Sites that provide breakfast will serve breakfast as usual on two-hour delayed start days. Schools will begin two hours after their regularly scheduled start times. Buses will pick students up two hours later than usual.

  • Kids Club: If the delay is due to cold, Kids Club will open at the normal time. Breakfast will be served as usual. If the delay is due to snow, we will open two hours late, (8:30 a.m.). Breakfast will be served on these days as well.

  • AM and PM Kindergarten: On delayed start days both the morning and afternoon half-day kindergarten classes will be canceled.

  • All Day Kindergarten: On delayed start days, the All Day Kindergarten program will run along with the other grade levels, starting two hours later than usual.

  • AM and PM Pre-School/Early Childhood Family Education and School Readiness: The AM and PM-preschool/Early Childhood and School Readiness classes will be canceled on delayed start days.

Shelter In Place:  A decision to “shelter in place” will be determined by specific buildings due to outside hazards that may occur. This decision will be made by the building Principal and/or appropriate district administration.

School Specific After School and Evening Activities:  After school and evening activities will be cancelled by 3 pm and will not necessarily be tied to a school closing. This decision will be made by the Assistant Superintendents and Athletic Directors. The Principal of an individual school may decide to cancel K-12 after school/evening activities due to existing or predicted weather/emergency conditions even if such activities are not canceled district wide by the Superintendent.  However, the Principal does not have the option to cancel Community Education activities. If the Superintendent cancels after school and/or evening activities district wide, a Principal may not continue with after school and/or evening activities at his or her school.

Community Education Evening Activities:  Evening activities will be cancelled by 3 pm and will not necessarily be tied to an early dismissal or school closing. This decision will be made by the Director of Community Education or his designee. Kid’s Club will contact participating parents to pick their children up as soon as possible with the goal to close it down as early as possible.

Weekend Events and/or Rentals:  Weekend events and/or rentals will be determined by appropriate Community Education and athletic staff and communicated via WCCO, KSTP, KARE 11 and FOX 9 News.