FIND IT FAST
Board of Education
Please ensure that you have made appropriate arrangements for your child(ren) in the event of school closure or late start. We make every effort to announce weather cancelations as soon as possible after a decision is made, understanding the disruption this causes to families across our district. The decision is made with the utmost consideration for the safety of our students and staff, as nothing matters more.
How will you know if school is canceled?
EVENING DECISION: If a decision is made in the evening to cancel school for the next day, automated phone calls will begin no later than 8:00 PM. Keep in mind, it may require additional time for all of the calls to reach each family across the district.
MORNING DECISION: If a decision is made after 8:00 PM the night before, calls to families will begin at 6:00 AM the next morning.
EMPLOYEE NOTIFICATION: District staff members will receive an automated call as soon as the decision is made, as late as 11 PM the night before, or as early as 5:45 AM on the morning of cancellation.
CANCELING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCHOOL DAY: If weather forces an early closure, we will contact all parents and emergency contacts and notify area media outlets.
LATE START: We make every effort to avoid implementing delayed starts whenever possible, as we understand the challenges it poses for families to arrange transportation at 10:00 AM. However, there are occasions where a delayed start becomes the most suitable option. This allows the district to ensure the safe arrival of everyone to their schools.
NOTE: It is so important for us to be able to reach parents and other caregivers during daytime hours. Please make sure your child’s school office has updated phone numbers and emergency contact information. If you have not logged into Skyward to verify your information please do so as soon as possible. If you need help logging into Skyward please contact the Technology Department at (620) 285-8451.
Any time of the day or night, here’s where anyone can find information if there’s a school closing:
(Rely on only official school social media accounts like the District Facebook page or the district website)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/usd495/
District website: www.usd495.com
Area media outlets: KSNW, KWCH, KAKE
Who makes the decision to cancel school?
The superintendent and transportation director work together to determine if city and rural bus routes are safe for travel. Considerations also include current weather, forecasts, and the condition of district facilities and grounds. Additionally, the superintendent will confer with the Pawnee County Roads Department and other area superintendents.
What if there’s school when the weather is extremely cold?
Students should always wear appropriate clothing when it’s cold outside, including heavy coats, hats, gloves or mittens and warm shoes or boots. Elementary recess is held indoors if the temperature or wind chill falls below 20 degrees.
As always, parents may choose to keep their children home for health and safety reasons. Absences due to inclement weather will be excused. Please notify the school if your child will be absent for any reason.
During a weather emergency:
If there is a “take cover” situation, everyone will move to designated areas that offer the greatest protection in each school. Please wait until after the severe weather threat has passed before attempting to pick up any student from school.
Tornado drills are held three times during the year to help prepare staff members and students to respond during an actual tornado warning. Maps of tornado drill routes are posted in all rooms. Please note that the shelters in our schools are not public and open only to the people who are in our schools when severe weather strikes.
Severe weather during outdoor events:
Along with students, the safety of families, coaches and fans is our top priority during any activity or sporting event. Our district team monitors weather conditions whenever events are held outdoors.
Lightning can often pose a deadly threat, even if it’s not raining. Severe thunderstorms, hail or tornadoes also will prompt officials to take action:
Evacuation and sheltering information will be announced over the facility’s speaker system.
Fans will be asked to move to their cars (if appropriate) or shelter in the designated school or district location.
The facility (stadium or outdoor field) will be closed, and nobody will be allowed to stay until the severe weather passes.
If the game resumes, fans will be re-admitted, and teams will be allowed time to warm up before play begins.
Families should always consider any chance of severe weather when allowing a student to attend a game as a spectator. All fans should plan ahead to make sure family members and friends know how to stay connected if severe weather strikes.