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Emergency School Closings

HOW IS THE DECISION MADE TO CLOSE SCHOOL DUE TO BAD WEATHER? Schools do not take the closing of school lightly. Safety of the children is given the highest priority, but that still does not make the decision a simple one. Not only is a day of learning missed, but also, it impacts working families as many have to arrange for alternative child care.
When the weather is bad, we have a process we use to determine whether to have school or not. The process begins with administrators driving roads at about 5:00 a.m. We try to make a decision before 6:00 a.m. in order for buses to begin their routes on time. Therefore, the decision to close is based on weather conditions at 6:00 a.m., unless we delay the start of school. Often we will delay the start of school which allows us to see if conditions will change. Weather conditions can look worse in the dark than they do in daylight. In general, we can then get a better idea about what the weather might be for the day.
If roads are good, it is hard to justify closing school. Sometimes extreme cold weather may create a need to close. If it is so cold that we can’t get buses running or have a problem keeping buildings warm, we will probably not have school.
There are several factors to help reduce some of the worry about children’s safety:
  1. We leave the final decision with the parent as to whether a child gets on the bus during bad weather.
  2. All of our buses are equipped with 2-way radios. Drivers can talk with each other and with our offices.
  3. We have 4 buses that are available for back-up to a route bus if it is stranded. We can get a back-up bus anywhere in the district in a reasonable amount of time.
  4. Area farmers have always been very cooperative about helping get a stranded bus going again.
  5. School buses are noted to be one of the safest means of transportation. Buses set up high so the driver has a greater visibility in bad weather than do cars. Also, the buses themselves are very visible to others.
Announcements of “no school” or “early dismissal” from school will be announced over WCCO(830), KAUS(1480)/KAUS-FM(100), and KROC-FM(106.9) radio stations as well as KAAL and KTTC television stations.
There can be different weather conditions in different parts of the district. The general procedure is that if all the buses can’t run, school will not be held. In towns where it is more protected, the weather may not appear to be as bad as it is in the country.
Please remember that we understand that the ultimate decision whether your child attends school during bad weather conditions rests with you, the parent. If you feel your child should not venture out in the weather, that is your decision and we can certainly agree with this.
Due to the suddenness of storms, we may have to dismiss school early. If you see conditions worsen in your area, please call us as we may not always be aware that the situation is getting bad in your part of the district.
Students will not be dismissed if we feel the storm is too severe to run the buses. Provisions will be made to attend to your child for as long as necessary.
We ask your cooperation in meeting the bus on time and doing what you can to help keep roads open. Keep your driveways opened the full width if the bus turns around at your place. Remember, those buses are very long and need room to make the turn into your place.
In summary, we can’t forget that we live in Minnesota. We have to be prepared to operate during unpleasant weather.
Start Times for Inclement Weather
Southland Public Schools will begin at 10:15 AM at the high School and middle School, 10:15 at the elementary and the A.M. Early Childhood Program classes are cancelled for the morning. All buses will run on their normal late start schedule. Students driving and parents dropping students off in Adams at the high school should plan for a 10:15 AM start unless otherwise notified.