School Delays & Closings
When the cold weather season is upon us, we know you will be wondering how the school district determines if school is delayed or canceled.
SPASD Inclement Weather Distance Learning Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year (sent on 1/20/21)
Traditionally, “snow days” have been called due to concerns with safely transporting students to school. Since all students and staff now have experience in a distance learning model, it may not be necessary to cancel instruction in cases when we cannot physically be at school.
Therefore, this year, the district will make every effort to hold a distance learning day instead of cancelling instruction due to inclement weather.
In order to maximize the likelihood that we can successfully implement a distance learning day, we will monitor winter weather conditions closely and make a determination whenever possible by 3:00 p.m. the day before an expected snow day. Communication will be made to families at that time. This will allow students and staff who are in-person time to gather needed supplies before leaving schools at the end of the day. Since it will be highly-disruptive to pivot back to in-person, the decision to hold a distance learning day will hold even if the forecast changes overnight.
If a decision cannot be made in advance due to uncertainty in the forecast or an unexpected weather emergency, a traditional snow day may be called. In that case, no instruction would take place. Communication to families will be sent by 6:00 a.m. according to our typical inclement weather procedures.
This plan will be in place for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year and reassessed for future years in the coming months.
How You'll Be Notified
We will post the closing on our District website, on our District Facebook page, and via Twitter. (You do not need to be on Facebook or Twitter to see these posts. However, if you are on these social media sites, please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.)
We will use our electronic messaging system to call, email, and text families about the change in the school schedule.
Our goal is to reach as many families as possible as soon as possible. We call all phones listed for parents and guardians of our students to ensure we reach someone in each household. While it may seem redundant to call your home, cell and work numbers, we must make sure parents who work varying shifts receive this important information. We also cannot just send it via email or text as we may not reach all families. Thank you for understanding!
We watch the weather very closely in the winter months. On nights when weather is forecasted to cause any issues that might impact the safety of our students arriving at school, we are actively assessing the situation by 4:45 a.m. and want to make a decision before 6:00 a.m. If we are able to determine school closings the night before, we will let you know about it when the decision is made.
Wind Chill Warning
For cold weather, the main indicator is wind chill factor. If the wind chill factor generates a Wind Chill Warning (-35 sustained wind chill), we will close for the day or may consider a delayed start if the warning will be lifted in the mid-morning hours. We will typically hold school when there is a Wind Chill Advisory.
Snow or Ice Events
Delaying or closing school is a decision that is not made lightly. There are many implications so we work to ensure that we are making the best decision possible based on the information we have. Start of school may be delayed or schools may be closed if conditions are considered to be dangerous. How we make the decision:
- We review the predicted weather patterns through various weather websites and news outlets.
- We contract with a local TV meteorologist for personal consultations regarding the forecast and are in contact with him, when needed.
- We look closely at the timing of the snow/ice, how much is predicted, and how it will impact getting students to/from school,
- We work closely with Kobussen Bus company when making this decision. Our staff or Kobussen staff will go out and drive the roads to determine if they are safe and passable.
- We are in conversation with other superintendents in neighboring school districts to compare reports.
Other Important Information:
- On days when we have a delayed start time as a result of weather, there will be no morning 4K classes and breakfast will not be served.
- If there is a 2-hour delay, busses will run exactly 2 hours later than their normal times.
If there is ever a time that we hold school and you do not feel it is in the best interest of your child to attend based on your assessment of the weather, please let us know and we will excuse those absences.