Policies and procedures during severe weather
How is the decision made to close or delay school?
School officials consult several sources to determine weather and road conditions. The superintendent then makes the final decision to delay school school starting times or close school. Read the district's Emergency School Closure Procedures for more details.
When is the decision made to close school?
The superintendent makes the final decision for a change in normal operations on inclement weather days with public notification by 6:00 a.m. Exceptions may occur on days when weather or road conditions change rapidly during the morning hours. See the Closure Procedures page for more information.
Will after-school activities be canceled?
On days when school is in session, but conditions deteriorate over the course of the day, a decision about whether to continue after-school activities is usually made around 1 p.m. at the district level. That information is shared through the same communication channels that we make closures announcements.
However, schools may also make local decisions about activities at their school so it's always a good idea to stay tuned into announcements throughout the afternoon.
Why don't you post updates when schools are open?
Sharing this provides a false sense of security. While every effort is made to notify the public by 5:30 a.m., with changing conditions and dynamic emergency situations it's not always possible to meet that deadline. So if someone checks our information a few minutes before 5:30 a.m. or before an update is published and sees a status of "all schools open" they're getting inaccurate information. It’s better to assume schools are open and stay tuned in to district sources and the media for the latest updates in the event that the status changes.
Can I keep my child at home?
Parents are encouraged to use their judgment to determine what is best for their children. Parents and guardians should notify their children’s school of the excused absence.
What factors are considered in deciding to close schools?
Safety of students and staff is the number one priority when the decision is made whether to close schools. The superintendent must also weigh the effects a potential closure may have on the community. For example:
- Many parents must find immediate child care or stay home from work for the day. In turn, the workforce across the City of Nome may be drastically reduced.
- The district has a limited number of snow days available for use before it is forced to add days to the school calendar.
- A closure may affect the critical, high-stakes testing and assessment calendar set by the state.
- Many students close to graduation need credit hours and lessons completed to earn a diploma. A closure may have a negative impact on their efforts.
Why didn't I get a phone call about the closure?
In addition to our School Messenger "robocall" system, when all schools are closed, we use our regular communication tools for school closures that can get the word out quickly – the website, social media, and local radio stations. Parents should keep an eye on those sources whenever they hear about poor weather conditions being forecast.