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November 27
Inclement Weather (Snow Days)

Dear ASD-S Families,

The weather is quickly becoming more seasonal, and this letter is to help families understand our policies and decisions regarding snow day cancellations and bus delays. The decision to cancel school is never taken lightly and we understand the challenge created by the change of routine, both at home and in the classroom.

Delays and Closures

Following poor weather, we may opt to delay buses while road conditions improve. If buses are delayed, schools will still open at their regular time to receive students.

If road conditions are, or are expected to become, hazardous, schools may be closed district-wide. Individual schools or Education Centres may be closed depending on unique local conditions. 

How do we decide?

Decisions are made based on the best information we have at the time. This includes detailed hourly weather forecasts and satellite/radar images from multiple sources, as well as provincial and municipal road condition reports. A decision must be made by approximately 6:30 am, as buses are due to begin shortly thereafter. Schools might also be closed and students sent home early if weather conditions deteriorate significantly during the school day.

Because decisions are made using the most accurate, up-to-date forecast information, decisions are not typically finalized in advance or announced the night before. 

ASD-S is large and diverse - urban, rural, in-land, and coastal. The weather does not always occur as anticipated and will impact areas differently. Our buses travel 33,000 km/day and we have 5000 student walkers. Sometimes what is the best decision for one neighbourhood may not be as apparent for another, but in each case the safety of all our students is paramount.  

If schools remain open, no announcement will be made; If you feel that conditions in your area are not safe, you have the final decision whether or not to send your child to school. 

What about the lost instructional time?

Teachers have room in their lesson plans to deal with closures and are experienced at modifying lessons and balancing the school year to make up for the lost time. Also, many teachers have plans in place to deal with snow days. Some may assign work ahead of anticipated closures or share expectations ahead of time. This could be instruction to review previous lessons, read ahead, continue project work, solve math problems, or practice creative writing, spelling, or sight words.

Students can also take an active role in continued learning by finding meaningful work to complete on snow days, such as reviewing previous chapters or getting ahead on assignments. We also recognize the value of the global competencies reinforced when students volunteer in the community to remove snow, child mind, or help out at home.

What Can Families Do?

Families are asked to establish plans for those days schools are closed or buses are delayed. Families are also encouraged to subscribe online to BusPlanner for email notifications about delays and closures. Announcements are also made through the local radio stations and the District website.

Parents and guardians can also encourage their students to seek out opportunities to learn, on snow days, and every day.