CESD Inclement Weather

With the safety of students, staff and parents our highest priority, our Board of Education has supported our plan to close schools on extreme weather days when traveling is deemed unsafe for everyone.

To that end, Central Office has developed a procedure that will allow school closures to involve a single school, a community of schools or the entire school division. To keep this procedure relatively simple, we believe there are essentially three types of travel days that occur in our Division. We have coded these days Green (all clear), Yellow (use caution), and Red (unsafe).

Green days – the days when it is clearly safe for everyone to travel. All busses are running and all of our schools are open.

Yellow days – the days when busses might not run in some or all areas of the Division, but schools remain open. On Yellow days, we anticipate that the majority of staff members will be able to drive to their schools and that meaningful learning will take place. (i.e. There may be a small minority of staff who choose not to travel because they have deemed their unique route unsafe.) 

  • Parents of bus students are asked to contact your school to confirm your child will be absent on Yellow Days. Some parents may choose to drive their child into the school when their school bus isn’t running, while some parents will choose to keep their child at home that day – schools can’t make assumptions when safety is at stake.

Here are a few illustrative examples of Yellow days:

  • Days when County crews need more time for snow removal to allow busses safe access to turnarounds, yet many other vehicles can still make safe passage through our rural roads.
  • Days when there is fog, freezing rain, or low temperatures in the morning, but the weather is relatively fine for the rest of the day. This type of weather may disrupt bus service, but our staff and our parents can often travel safely simply by arriving a little later.

Red days – A given school, area or the entire division will be closed. These are days when we are faced with a full blown blizzard or when we still have a combination of heavy snow, high winds, and very low visibility. On Red days, to ensure the safety of our staff, parents, and licensed older students, we feel we need to close schools not only for students, but also for staff. This decision will be made in consultation with school administrators whenever possible. We believe this is the best way to ensure everyone’s safety. It is important to note that a Red day may exist for one school, for one area (i.e. all Sundre Schools), or for the entire Division. Staff will be expected to conduct their work from home as much as possible and, for emergency purposes only, we will be asking our schools to do what they can to have at least one staff member on site on school closure days to ensure that no students are inadvertently dropped off at the front door of a school.

You can also read more about Inclement Weather in regards to Transportation.



Inclement Weather Procedure - Frequently Asked Questions

On a day when no buses are running, how and when will I know if the day is Red (school closure)?
As early as possible (prior to 6:30 a.m. preferably) we will send parents a voice, email, and text message using Alert Solutions - our automated communication system. In addition, messaging will be shared via Facebook, Twitter, local radio stations, as well as school and division websites. Because we are sometimes without power during extreme weather, we will use all of these approaches to reach as many stakeholders as possible.

How can I find out if it is a Yellow Day?
You can check out our division website as well as our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

What will happen on a Red day if I don’t receive notification that schools are closed and my child arrives at the school?
Schools will arrange to have one or two staff members who can open front doors and greet students who do not receive the message. Staff members will then contact parents to notify them that the school is closed and wait with the students until parents arrive.

Why would the school division proceed with learning on Yellow days when buses are not running?
On yellow days, the majority of our students, parents, and staff have safe transportation to school. For example, consider a scenario where our buses are unable to operate because the temperature is -37 degrees Celsius. Because approximately 63% of our students live in town and many of our rural parents can drive students to school on these days, we would anticipate that as many as 90% of our students would have safe transportation to our schools. To have the majority of our students present and willing to learn, and not proceed with teaching and learning would not be fair to the students in attendance.

My child rides a bus, and we may be unable to provide safe transportation on Yellow days. Will she be penalized for missing school?
No. Teachers will help students catch up upon their return, just like they do when students are absent for other legitimate reasons such as illness and medical appointments. In addition, we will encourage a greater use of technology such as email and school websites to share information and assignments with students who are away.

If it is a Red day, what will schools do to move learning forward?
Staff will be working from home on Red Days. We will be working closely with our schools to ensure there is a learning plan in place that will address how they will ensure there are meaningful opportunities for learning to continue for all students each day, no matter which ‘code’ the day falls under. We are exploring ways to use technology to continue teaching and learning on both Red Days and for students who are unable to make it into school on Yellow Days.

Under what circumstances would the division make different decisions for different schools or communities?
When extreme weather conditions are localized, there may be a need to approach a certain school or community differently. In addition, we have some schools with fewer than 10% rural bus riders and we have other schools with more than 80%. The percentage of rural bus riders may also play a role in assessing a Red day or a Yellow day for a specific school or community.