This letter is to help ASD-S families understand our
policies and decisions regarding snow day cancellations.
The decision to cancel school is never taken lightly. We
understand the challenge created by the change of routine, both at home and in
How do we decide?
We begin watching weather systems the day before anticipated
weather, consulting various forecasts with hourly information such as
temperatures, winds, snow, freezing rain, and ice. At 4:30am, a group from our transportation
team check the latest forecasts, consult with Department of Transportation and
Infrastructure, municipalities, and neighbouring school districts. This
information is presented to our Superintendent at 5:00am to make the final
Our three education centres are large and diverse. Our
communities are urban and rural, in-land and coastal. Our buses travel 33,000 km
per day transporting 18,000 students and we have 5000 student walkers. The
weather does not always behave as anticipated and how the weather impacts one
area may not be the same as in another. 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.
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, some
connect thanks to web-based solutions, such as class web pages or team sites,
and some 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, getting ahead on assignments, or playing educational games. 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 encouraged to subscribe online
for email notifications or follow us on Twitter
@ASD_South for the latest announcements about delays and closures. Announcements
are also made through the local radio stations, the District website, and the
Information Phone line (1-855-535-7669 [SNOW]).
Parents and guardians can also encourage their students to seek
out opportunities to learn, on snow days, and every day.
More information about snow days can be found in the ASD-S
Inclement Weather Policy.