School Cancellation Process

  • Snow Removal Photo

    The mission of the Fargo Public Schools is to educate and empower all students to succeed.  Each day in the school year is essential to carry out this mission and provide instruction to our students.  Fargo Public Schools makes every effort to keep schools open each day.  Our first choice will always be to remain open, but at times the weather conditions within the city merit a school closing.

    Making a School Cancellation Decision

    Fargo Public Schools maintains close communication with officials of the U.S. Weather Service, local government, and neighboring school districts in order to make decisions regarding inclement weather and other emergency situations that are in the best interest of the safety of our students, staff and parents.  The decision to hold classes is based on the general weather conditions which exist for the majority of Fargo students.

    Each weather event is looked at individually with multiple sources of information consulted before making the final decision on whether or not to hold school due to inclement weather.  The decision to keep schools open or to close them results for weighing factors including excessive snow, temperature or wind chill numbers, wind speeds, road conditions, and the safety of bussing students. 

    The decision to close school will be made and communicated in as timely of a manner as possible.  Closing our schools has a tremendous impact on our parents and community.  We strive to make the decision if needed with enough time for parents to make arrangements for supervision of their children.  However, at times, a decision the morning of a school day may need to be made to see what weather materializes overnight; if a decision is made in the morning, the decision will be made by 6:00 a.m.

    Parents, please keep the following in mind:

    If school is in session, and a parent decides that a student should remain at home due to weather conditions, that decision will be respected by the school.  Parents should use their own judgment in determining if the weather is suitable for their children to make the journey to school.  It is always up to parents to make the final decision about whether or not to send their student to school if they believe weather conditions present a safety issue.  The absence for the day would be considered an excused absence. 

    If school is called off, parents will be contacted via the automated phone, email and text system based on the contact information supplied to the school office(s).  Parents are encouraged to update contact information with the school on a regular basis so we have up to date contact information.  This can be done through PowerSchool or by calling the school office.  School cancellation information will also be broadcasted via local media, and will be posted across our website and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).

    If weather or a situation develops during the day, and it is determined that an early dismissal is in the best interest of the students, parents will be contacted via the automated phone, email and text system based on the contact information supplied to the school office(s).  Parents are encouraged to update contact information with the school on a regular basis so we have up to date contact information.  This can be done through PowerSchool or by calling the school office.  School closure information will also be broadcasted via local media, and the information will be posted on our website and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).

    In our elementary schools, principals will proceed with an orderly dismissal consistent with the instructions provided by parents on the Plan for School Closing Due to Weather or emergency form filled out at the beginning of the year.

     

    Procedures for School Cancellation, Early Release or Late Start

    Cancellation
    When school is cancelled due to weather, the following occurs:

    • All schools are closed
    • The Early Childhood Special Education preschool program is cancelled
    • Before and after school programs are cancelled
    • All Adult Learning Center classes are cancelled
    • All daytime programs are cancelled including before and after school programming
    • All after school or evening co-curricular/athletic activities, including practices and games, are cancelled
    • For evening community rentals of school facilities, individuals should check with sponsoring organizations regarding possible cancellations

    Early Release
    If weather develops during the school day that merits an early dismissal, the following occurs:

    • All schools are closed
    • If school is cancelled prior to 11:00 a.m., there will be no afternoon Early Childhood Special Education preschool
    • Elementary schools will proceed with dismissal procedures according to the plan provided by parents at the beginning of the school year
    • The Early Childhood Special Education preschool program will proceed with dismissal procedures according to the plan provided by parents at the beginning of the school year
    • For after school care, the sponsoring organization will notify parents if care will be available
    • All after school or evening co-curricular/athletic activities, including practices and games, are cancelled
    • For evening community rentals of school facilities, individuals should check with sponsoring organizations regarding possible cancellations

    Late Start
    If the start of school is delayed by two hours, the following occurs:

    • Schools start exactly two hours later than usual; high school students should consult their school handbook for additional information regarding the period schedule
    • Buses will run two hours later than usual
    • No morning classes at Woodrow Wilson High School will be held; afternoon classes at Woodrow Wilson High School will be held as usual
    • No morning Early Childhood Special Education preschool programming will be held
    • The breakfast program is not offered for students
    • All staff members should report as close as possible to their usual starting times as they are able

     

    Parent Tips

    • Keep your contact information updated with your school. It is imperative that your child’s school has up to date contact information on file with which to contact you.  Please be sure to have your current phone and email address on file with your school.  Updates can be made by logging into your PowerSchool account or contacting your school office.
    • Stay connected during potential weather events. Weather related announcements will be shared through our mass calling system, shared with our local media outlets, and posted on our website and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).  If there is not an announcement through these means, school is scheduled as normal.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do you make a weather-related cancellation decision?
    Fargo Public Schools administrators review each weather related event individually when making a school cancellation decision.  The District maintains close communication with officials of the U.S. Weather Service, local government, and neighboring school districts while making the decision to remain open or closed.  In the end, each school district in our area makes their own independent school closure decision.  The decision to hold classes is based on the general weather conditions which exist for the majority of Fargo students.

    When and how will parents be notified of a weather-related school cancellation?
    The decision to close school will be made and communicated in as timely of a manner as possible.  Closing our schools has a tremendous impact on our parents and community and we aim to communicate closures to parents as quickly as possible.  If a closure decision is made, it will be communicated through the following means:

    • Through the automated phone, email and text system based on the contact information supplied to the school office(s)
    • Through a media release to our local media outlets
    • Through postings on website, including all school pages
    • Through postings on Facebook and Twitter

    Why don’t the large school districts in this area always make the same weather related decision?
    Fargo Public Schools consults with West Fargo Public Schools and Moorhead Area Public Schools during weather related events.  Each district has its own unique features and bussing situations.  While we are all located in one close geographic area, weather can impact each district differently.  Therefore, each school district in our area makes their own independent weather related decision.

    If there is a “no travel advisory” in North Dakota, why is school still held sometimes?
    At times, the area may have a “no travel advisory” in place during a winter weather event.  Many times, that is an advisory for travelers outside of the city limits.  Fargo Public Schools has very limited rural bus routes and our buses do not use the interstates for travel purposes for our regular routes.  The decision to hold classes is based on the general weather conditions which exist for the majority of Fargo students.  If the City of Fargo issues a no travel advisory for inside the city limits, the school district will most likely close schools.

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