School Closings

Information and procedures pertaining to School Closings for South Washington County Schools

District 833 has no formal ‘policy’ for the decision-making process regarding school closings, but does have procedures in place as to how the decision is made. This information is meant to be a guideline for parents to understand the decision-making on whether to postpone the school day or cancel it all together.

Who Makes the Decision:

All school closings and/or schedule changes are decided by the Superintendent or his designee. The most compelling reason for closing schools will be the safety of students and employees. Decisions to cancel or shorten the regular school day and after school activities shall be made by the Superintendent or his designee in consultation with other staff as appropriate. The Director of Transportation shall be involved with these decisions as most involve the busing of students. Decisions on school closings and late starts will be made as early as possible.

Why would the district consider closing or delaying the school day?

The decision may be the result of inclement weather, loss of power, water main break and/or other emergency situations that may occur within the district. The Superintendent works with the Director or Transportation to verify the conditions of the roads and the ability for all buses to start and drivers to be able to arrive in time for routes to run.


All information will be communicated by the Director of Communications or a designee through:

  • All-district phone call and email through Blackboard Connect
  • District website, Facebook and Twitter sites
  • TV stations - WCCO, KARE 11, KSTP and FOX 9 News
  • District cable channel 15

Delayed Starts and Early Dismissals:

Delayed starts and early dismissals are inherently difficult for many programs and parents. With this in mind, administration will do their best to keep these to a minimum. Delayed starts and early dismissals will be determined as conditions dictate. All families should have a contingency plan for their children in the event of school closings. All elementary families are encouraged to have a plan on file with the school so that staff will know how to direct their children in these situations.

If a delayed start is called, the decision will be made by 5:30 a.m. On evenings when the weather forecast for the next day includes severe cold or significant snow, please watch the news stations in the morning for information on the status of our district schedules.

Two-Hour Delayed Start:

If a delayed start is called, the decision will be made by 5:30 a.m. Buses will pick students up two hours later than usual. Schools will begin two hours after their regularly scheduled start times. Sites that provide breakfast will serve breakfast as usual on two-hour delayed start days. Each building will start the day based on what would normally be taking place at the time of the start. The day would then continue with the regular schedule.

  • Kids Club: If the delay is due to cold, Kids Club will open at the normal time. Breakfast will be served as usual. If the delay is due to snow, Kids Club will open two hours late (8:30 a.m.). Breakfast will be served on these days as well.
  • Half-day kindergarten: On delayed start days, those students attending half-day kindergarten will not have school.
  • All-day kindergarten: On delayed start days, all-day kindergarten classes will run as scheduled with grades 1-5.
  • PreK (AM and PM) and Early Childhood Family Education Classes: On delayed start days, PreK (AM and PM) and Early Childhood Family Education classes will be canceled.

Shelter In Place:

A decision to “shelter in place” will be determined by specific buildings due to outside hazards that may occur. This decision will be made by the building Principal and/or appropriate district administration.

School Specific After School and Evening Activities:

After school and evening activities will be cancelled by 3 p.m. and will not necessarily be tied to a school closing. This decision will be made by the Assistant Superintendents, Community Education Director and Athletic Directors. The principal of an individual school may decide to cancel K-12 after school/evening activities due to existing or predicted weather/emergency conditions even if such activities are not canceled district wide by the Superintendent. However, the principal does not have the option to cancel Community Education activities. If the Superintendent cancels after school and/or evening activities district wide, a principal may not continue with after school and/or evening activities at his or her school.

Community Education Evening Activities:

Evening activities will be cancelled by 3 p.m. and will not necessarily be tied to an early dismissal or school closing. This decision will be made by the Director of Community Education or their designee. Kids Club will contact participating parents to pick their children up as soon as possible with the goal to close the program as early as possible.

Weekend Events and/or Rentals:

Weekend events and/or rentals will be determined by appropriate Community Education and athletic staff and communicated via WCCO, KSTP, KARE 11 and FOX 9 News.

Indoor Recess

Indoor recess will be held when the actual temperature is at zero degrees or below, or the wind-chill is -10 degrees or below. It is best to assume that students will participate in outdoor recess, and to dress them accordingly.

Dress for Winter Success

In this tutorial, students demonstrate how to dress for success when it comes to braving those cold winter months in Minnesota.