2020-21 Inclement Weather Guidelines
With a rapidly changing COVID landscape and the resulting shifts of learning models in our schools, weather-related closings and delays will operate differently from the past. During these unusual times, area school districts are planning according to their individual community’s specific needs. This is a departure from previous years when the three major St. Cloud metro area school districts acted together regarding weather-related emergencies.
When students are receiving instruction through a distance learning model, although St. Cloud Area School District sites may close due to weather, distance learning instruction will continue as scheduled as long as there is no interruption of power and/or internet service that would interfere with distance learning.
When students are receiving instruction either in the hybrid or in-person learning model, St. Cloud Area School District will utilize Flexible Distance Learning Days during the 2020-2021 school year. Please be aware that although students access their instruction remotely on Flexible Distance Learning Days, the plan—and schedule—is distinct from a regularly scheduled distance learning day. The first five weather-related closings during hybrid or in-person instruction will be shifted to Flexible Distance Learning Days. Additional weather-related school closing days will be determined by the Superintendent, and make-up time for students and/or staff will be determined by the Superintendent in consultation with the School Board.
This plan has no impact on Distance Learning Academy.
Note: If school sites are closed due to a weather-related emergency, meal pick-up and delivery are also canceled.
In a renewed effort to gather accurate weather information, St. Cloud Area School District will continue to rely on the expertise of the National Weather Service and St. Cloud State University meteorologists for weather forecasts, and both city and county officials for information related to road conditions. Professors at the university localize forecasts and advise the school district on closing decisions.
Minnesota weather is sometimes difficult to predict, and it is essential that parents/guardians anticipate and prepare for weather-related emergencies. The National Weather Service and other forecasting agencies issue various winter weather statements, watches, and warnings. We use these statements, coupled with the information provided by St. Cloud State University, to determine if weather conditions may cause a full day cancellation or an early dismissal from school. With the option of Flexible Distance Learning Days, we anticipate few, if any late starts.
Heavy snowfall, ice storms, extreme cold, and strong winds are not the only contributors to an emergency situation. Fog can be equally dangerous. While the sun may be shining in one area, visibility may be reduced to a few feet in another location, creating a potential hazard.
Winter weather and emergency situations are not predictable, and they may happen at any time. The purpose of the weather-related closing plan is to assist parents/guardians and students to be better prepared to deal with emergency situations and reduce their effects. Parents are encouraged to prepare for emergency closings. Special childcare arrangements should be made which could be used in the event of a school closing, late start or early dismissal. Ultimately, the parent/guardian should make the final decision whether a child should attend school during severe weather.
Safe Students/Informed Parents
In any weather emergency, the main objective is to provide protection and a safe environment
for students. In the event of a cancelled school day that requires a Flexible Distance Learning Day, families will be informed by an automated message that St. Cloud School District 742 is activating a Flexible Distance Learning Day at least two hours prior to the start of the regular school day. Radio stations and news services will be contacted on behalf of the district, and announcements will appear on the district’s website and social media sites.
Emergency Closing Procedures
- The superintendent will make every effort to announce school closings by 10:00 p.m. the night before severe weather and/or as soon as information becomes available.
- When a morning emergency closing or a late start is required, every effort will be made to make and communicate the decision by 5:30 a.m.
- In the event of an early dismissal or a school closing, all after-school activities, practices, and evening classes, including Community Education, Early Childhood Family Education, Adult Basic Education, and McKinley-ALC classes, will be canceled.KIDSTOP weather-related information can be found at: https://www.bgcmn.org/kidstop/weather-closing-policy/
- Early dismissal: If school is dismissed early due to severe weather, all KIDSTOPs/Clubs will remain open until 4:00 p.m.
- After-school activities cancellation: If after-school activities are canceled for the day, KIDSTOP/Clubs will remain open until 6:00 p.m.
- School cancellation (due to snow): If school is closed due to SNOW, all KIDSTOP sites will be closed, but the Roosevelt Boys & Girls Club will be open for KIDSTOP programming from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- School cancellation (due to extreme cold): If school is closed due to EXTREME COLD, Madison KIDSTOP will be open as well as the Roosevelt BGC.
Radio and TV Announcements
Announcements regarding school closings, late starts, or early dismissals relative to
St. Cloud Area School District 742 District will be made on the following radio and television stations:
Station AM FM TV
WJON Radio 1240
KCLD Radio 104.7
KNSI Radio 1450
KVSC Radio 88.1
KKJM Radio 92.9
WCCO Radio 830
WCCO TV Channel 4
KSTP TV Channel 5
KARE 11 TV Channel 11
KMSP TV Channel 9
St. Cloud Somali Radio and TV
In addition to these radio and television outlets, weather alerts are announced on the St. Cloud Times website at www.sctimes.com. You may also tune into the area’s cable education access, Channel 179, District 742’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/isd742.org, St. Cloud Area Schools@ISD742 on Twitter, or the District 742 website at www.isd742.org for up-to-the-minute closing and/or late start/early dismissal reports.
Skylert (School Messenger System) will also be used to send messages to all staff and parents/students, to announce school closings, late starts, and early dismissals due to inclement weather conditions.