As we start preparing for the winter months, it is a good time to remember important weather related information that effects school operations. In the months to come we may be forced to delay or close school, or even send students home early because of dangerous weather conditions. The district staff understands that our decision to open or close schools during inclement weather is a challenge for families. We also understand the importance of students being in school to continue to make progress academically. Having stated that, our top priority remains the safety of our students, staff and families.
HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
We make the decision to open or close school in inclement weather based on a careful
analysis of the following factors:
• We drive the roads. Personnel from transportation and administration drive the various attendance areas very early in the morning. The routes that we drive allow for first hand observations of a wide variety of terrains.
• Information on road conditions from the Minnesota Department of Transportation is reviewed as part of the decision making process.
• The amount of snow and ice accumulated and whether precipitation is continuing is an important consideration. We speak directly with the National Weather Service in Duluth and local meteorologists regarding weather conditions.
• "Cold" is not easy to reduce down to a single number; wind chill and temperature both play a part in the decision and we utilize the new wind chill chart developed by the National Weather Service. Timing also plays a part - we pay most attention to what the conditions are going to be like between 6:15 and 8:15.
• We do not always make decisions similar to other schools in the region. Our weather can be very different as compared toneighboring school districts given our geography near the Lake Superior Basin and the Iron Range.
WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
• The superintendent does. I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the Transportation and Building Supervisors.
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
• As quickly as a decision is made, a Campus Alert will be sent to all families. Please be sure to keep your contact information current on Campus Portal to ensure you receive these notifications.
• Tune to local TV and radio outlets for up-to-date information on school closings. WDIO/WIRT, KBJR/KDLH, WTBX, Radio USA, and WNMT (650AM) receive our announcements of school closures or delays.
• You can also check our district website (www.floodwood.k12.mn.us
) and Facebook for current weather related information.
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
• We will attempt to make the decision by 5:45 AM or earlier so the radio and TV stations can be notified and posted on our
WHAT ABOUT A DELAY?
• We must weigh the advantages of gaining two hours to allow weather to pass or road crews to better treat the highways
versus conditions worsening.
• In the event of a two hour delay there will be NO Preschool, Busy Bodies or Early Childhood programming that day.
If schools are open, and parents choose not to send their children to school during extreme weather conditions, the absence will be treated as excused and the work missed may be made up. This attendance option is always available to parents. The decision to send your child to school during extreme weather conditions is and should ultimately be yours. Although we make each decision after careful assessment, we know that often no absolute right decision exists. If you do not feel it is safe for your child to attend school, use your judgment on whether he or she should attend. Also, discourage students from driving in bad conditions and offer them options if weather conditions worsen.
It is our hope this information helps you to understand the process that our district staff considers to make the safest decision for the district.