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Weather, Safety, Security and School Alerts

The Superintendent will make the decision to cancel school, delay the start time, or dismiss classes early if conditions are deemed dangerous to students and staff.

How Weather Delays and Cancellations are Determined:

We will announce delays in start times and cancellations as early as possible, but not later than 6 a.m. Parents or guardians may choose to keep their children at home if they are concerned about weather conditions while school is in session. They must notify the school. The principal will record the absence as excused.

All Story County school superintendents use a variety of factors when determining whether to delay or cancel school. The safety of students, staff, and parents is a priority when making these decisions. We take into consideration travel conditions, as well as students who may have to walk and/or wait for the bus. Some of those factors include:

  • Timing of impending winter storm
  • Travel conditions that includes blowing and drifting snow.
  • Wind chill threshold as determined by the National Weather Service. We use a fifteen-minute threshold as a gauge when making decisions.

Throughout the winter, please make sure students are dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Dress in layers, wear snow boots, and don’t forget gloves, hats, and snow pants.

How to find out about school closings and delays:

When a school cancellation of classes is necessary:

  • All District schools will be closed and before-and after-school activities will be canceled.
  • As a general rule, athletic events will be canceled.

When a delayed start is necessary:

  • The District will follow a two-hour delay schedule unless there are unusual circumstances
  •  All before-and after-school professional development activities will be canceled.
  • Morning preschool and early kindergarten classes at Northwood Preschool Center will be canceled.
  • Early Kindergarten afternoon classes will start at 12:15 p.m. and dismiss at 3:15 p.m.
  • Elementary school will start at 10:30 a.m.
  • Middle school will start at 10 a.m.
  • High School will start at 9:50 a.m.

In the event of a delayed start on a Wednesday:

Because a delayed start on Wednesday cancels professional development activities before and after school, the Wednesday delay schedule is based on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday start times and dismissal times.

  • Elementary students will start at 10:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:10 p.m.
  • Middle school will start at 10 a.m. and dismiss at 2:40 p.m.
  • High school will start at 9:50 a.m. and dismiss at 2:30 p.m.
  • No morning Early Kindergarten classes
  • Afternoon Early Kindergarten class will start at 12:15 p.m. and end at 3:15 p.m.

When an early dismissal is necessary:

  • The Superintendent will make the decision by 11 a.m., if possible.
  • Early-dismissal times may vary depending on the weather conditions.
  • Afternoon preschool and early kindergarten classes at Northwood Preschool Center will be canceled.
  • After-school activities will be canceled and in general, athletic events will be canceled.

Make-up Days

If the number of weather-related cancellations requires days to be made up to complete the state-and Board-mandated number of instruction hours, we will add make-up dates to end of the District calendar and we will alert parents and guardians about the calendar change.

The Ames Community School District is committed to the safety of our students, staff, and visitors. We have a plan in place for safety, security and responses to emergencies and disasters. We post our plan in every building and classroom.

Coordination with local agencies

We coordinate our response to a crisis with local public safety agencies, such as the Ames Police and Fire Departments, the Story County Sheriff and Emergency Management Agency, and area hospitals.

Communication

The Director of Communications manages the information given to the community and to media to ensure it is accurate, consistent and serves to enhance the response to the situation.

We provide information to parents and guardians about the situation, dismissal procedures, and procedures for reuniting families with students. The methods we use to get in touch with parents and guardians may vary, depending on the nature of the situation.

  • We will use Infinite Campus to send text message alerts that are followed up with email messages to subscribed parents and guardians.
  • If appropriate to the situation, we will post alerts on the District website and distribute them to the media.

What parents and guardians can do to help:

  • Subscribe to Infinite Campus to get timely information by text and email. Follow the instructions you receive in any message you receive from the District.
  • For the safety of your child, please do not call or come to the school during a crisis. Please wait for instructions and updates.
  • Attend the information meetings your school provides about safety and responses to crisis.
  • Make a habit of singing in and out at the school office, greeting the office staff, and wearing a visitor’s badge.
  • Report any unusual persons, behavior, activity or objects in the buildings or on the school grounds.
  • High school will start at 9:50 a.m. and dismiss at 3:05 p.m.
  • Elementary students will start at 10:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:30 p.m.
  • No morning Early Kindergarten classes
  • Afternoon Early Kindergarten class will start at 12:15 p.m. and end at 3:15 p.m.

 

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