School Closings and Alerts

Spring Lake Park Schools makes every possible effort to keep schools open, in most weather conditions, if bus travel is safe. Unless we announce otherwise, assume school is in session.

Parents make the final decision about whether or not to send their children to school if they believe weather conditions present a safety issue. No school credit is lost and the absence is excused if a parent decides to keep a child home because of the weather.

For any snowy or cold conditions, please be sure children are dressed for the weather and particularly if they are traveling by bus or walking to school. With winter weather, please also allow for the occasional delay with bus pick-up and delivery times. 

We do not make a decision to close school based on any one factor or benchmark, but rather assess a multitude of factors including temperature, wind chill, amount of snow, road conditions and geography. The National Weather Service is our source for weather information used to make this decision.

Due to the often unpredictable winter weather in Minnesota, in most cases we wait until the morning of each school day before notifying families. However, there may be rare instances when we make a decision the night before.

How are decisions made for when schools remain open or close?

Schools are Open

On cold or snowy days when weather conditions may not be ideal but bus routes are safe, the district will keep schools open. We realize that weather or traffic conditions could cause some buses to run late or present challenges for some walkers if sidewalks still need to be shoveled.

On days such as this, it is always the parents' decision whether or not to send their children to school if they believe there is a safety issue regarding weather conditions. 

No school credit is lost, and it is an excused absence if a parent decides to keep their child home because of extreme cold or inclement weather.

If you do not receive a phone call, text or email from the school district, find a message on our website, or see a posting on local media channels, school is in session.

Schools are Closed

The school district would close school if it is unsafe for students to arrive at school or if buses would have difficulty traveling their routes.

The amount of snow, temperature, wind chill, passable roads, and at times the possibility of buses not starting are among the many factors that are considered.

If schools are closed, we alert our families by phone, text, and/or email using the information and preferences we have on file for emergency communications; publish an alert on our website; and post information on local media channels.

What are all the potential scenarios with winter weather closings?

There are four primary scenarios possible with winter weather and school closings:

  1. Schools are closed for the day.
  2. Schools are released early.
  3. Schools have a delayed start.
  4. Schools buildings are closed and there is a flexible learning day with learning continuing online using Schoology and/or Seesaw.

How will I know if school is closed, released early, there is a delayed start or a flexible learning day?

  • An alert notification will be sent to you by phone, text, and e-mail based upon information on file with the school district and any preferences you have selected for notification in cases of emergency.
  • An easy-to-find Alert Message will be posted on the top of each page on district and school websites: SpringLakeParkSchools.org
  • We will post a message on our Facebook page.
  • We will tweet a message on our district Twitter account. 
  • We will share information via school closing messages on WCCO Radio, WCCO-Channel 4, KARE-11, KMSP Fox 9, and KSTP-5.

Keep your contact information updated

When school is closed, released early, has a delayed start, or a flexible learning day is called, our automated e-mail, phone, and text alert system is our most effective means of notifying parents and families in the shortest amount of time. In these cases, it is important that we have the most up-to-date parent/guardian contact information (home phone, cell phone, e-mail addresses).

To update your contact information, including phone numbers or email addresses, please login to Parent Portal.

If you need assistance with this process, if you need login information, or if you need to set up your Campus Portal account, please contact the Technology Help Desk at 763-600-5555 or email portal@district16.org.

Keep your contact information updated

When school is closed, released early, has a delayed start, or a flexible learning day is called, our automated e-mail, phone, and text alert system is our most effective means of notifying parents and families in the shortest amount of time. In these cases, it is important that we have the most up-to-date parent/guardian contact information (home phone, cell phone, e-mail addresses).

To update your contact information, including phone numbers or email addresses, please log in to Campus Parent portal and follow these instructions:

  1. Once you are logged in, select “more” on the left-side menu
  2. To update information on any of the following sections you will see an “Update” button that will create an information change request. Once submitted, our enrollment office will review the information and will process the changes. If we have any questions, we will contact you
  3. Click on “Address Information” to update your household phone number. To update address information, you will need to contact our enrollment office at 763-600-5018
  4. Click on “Demographics” to update information on your child. If you have more than one child in the district you can change the active child from the selector on the upper right of the screen
  5. The Demographics screen also allows you to add other people that are related to the child like grandparents that live in a different household
  6. Click on the “Family Information” tab to update individual phone numbers, email addresses, family member and family relationships to each of your households
  7. Click on the “Health” information tab to review health information and immunization

If you need assistance,  such as help with logging in or if you need to set up your Campus Parent portal account, please contact the Technology Help Desk at 763-600-5555 or email portal@district16.org.

What if I did not receive the alert messages?

The district uses a notification system to send emails, voice messages, text messages and mobile app push notifications. Families and staff can customize their notification preferences and how they want to receive communication and to what contact information they receive the messages. Learn more on our Stay Connected page under "Notification System."

What are the procedures for when school is closed/canceled for the day?

When Spring Lake Park Schools is closed, the following will typically take place:

  • All schools are closed. A flexible learning day may be called to continue learning for the day outside of our school buildings.
  • All daytime programs are canceled. 
  • Early Childhood Family Education programs, Preschool are canceled.
  • Learning Ventures and Discovery Days are canceled.
  • Before- and after-school programs and classes are canceled. 
  • Community Education programs for youth and adults are canceled. 
  • After-school or evening athletic or activities practices or contests may or may not take place. Each is at the discretion of the district, the activities director, or individual coaches or advisors. The Spring Lake Park page of the North Suburban Conference website (nsconference.org) will also be updated. 
  • For evening community rentals of school facilities, individuals should check with sponsoring organizations regarding possible cancellations.

 

What are the procedures for when there is a two-hour delayed start?

If the start of school is delayed for two hours, the following would usually occur:

  • All schools will start exactly two hours later than usual 
  • Buses will run two hours later than usual 
  • Learning Ventures, Discovery Days, Preschool, Early Childhood Family Education, and Early Childhood Special Education will be open at their regular starting times. It would be helpful to call your Learning Ventures or Discovery Days site before bringing children to be certain staff have arrived 
  • Continue to monitor the district website for updates and changes 
  • All district staff should report as close as possible to their usual starting times

What are the procedures for when school is dismissed early?

If inclement weather (or broken water main or other facilities problem) causes a school or schools to be dismissed early, the following typically occurs:

  • Early Childhood Family Education programs and preschool classes that have not started by this time will be canceled 
  • Afternoon Learning Ventures will not reopen for care
  • Children who are at school when it is canceled need to follow the family’s emergency care procedures
  • Discovery Days children will have parents notified for pick-up within two hours
  • After School Adventures classes will be canceled
  • After school or evening athletic or activities practices or contests may or may not take place. Each is at the discretion of the district, the activities director, or individual coaches/advisors. The Spring Lake Park page of the North Suburban Conference website (nsconference.org) will be continually updated.

What is a flexible learning day and what are the procedures when one is called?

Flexible learning days are an opportunity for students to continue learning at home when school buildings are closed due to severe winter weather. When a flexible learning day is called, students are not expected to physically come to school but are expected to participate in instruction using Schoology or Seesaw

All schools in Minnesota have a required amount of active, teacher-facilitated learning time for students. In the event that we have a school cancellation due to inclement weather, Spring Lake Park can decide to call up to five flexible learning days during a calendar year.

We communicate flexible learning days following our regular notification process.

If a flexible learning day is called:

  • Students in grades Kindergarten-Grade 3 will continue their learning by completing assignments and learning activities created by their teacher. These activities will be posted in Schoology or Seesaw by 10 a.m.
  • Students in grades 4-12 will continue their learning by logging into Schoology courses for instruction and assignments. If a student is not able to do this, they can call their teacher’s extension and listen to the assignment. Teachers will communicate expectations by 10 a.m.
  • Students with an Individual Education Plan will follow the assignments from their teacher and/or assignments will be modified by their case manager.
  • Teachers will be available during school hours. Student and/or parent can contact teachers by email and/or their school phone extension available on the district website.

It is understood that a limited number of students may not have internet access at home. If this applies to you, please contact the District Services Center, 763-600-5000, at any time, and a staff member will work with you on alternate plans.

How are decisions made related to cold?

When it comes to closing school because of cold weather, it is all about safety. We know the cold begins to be considered dangerous when wind chills approach 40 degrees below zero and air temperature 20 degrees below zero. For this reason, Spring Lake Park, and other metro area school districts, use projected 6 a.m. temperatures to consider closing school. When making these decisions, we need to ensure that buses can run reliably in the cold temperatures.

Do other districts influence our decision to close, dismiss early, delay start or have a flexible learning day?

Sometimes. Snowfall-related cancellations can affect metro areas very differently whereas cold weather impacts each of the metro districts in a similar way. Although each school district makes its own decision, communication and consultation among school districts is very common and necessary. Because we share services with neighboring districts, it's always important for bordering districts to talk to each other before making their decisions.

Our goal is always to have school in session.

We never want to lose a day of valuable learning, and we have a history of remaining open. The district makes every possible effort to keep schools open, in most weather conditions, if buses can run reliably and the wait at the bus stop and the walk to school are safe. 

Throughout the school year, unless we announce otherwise, assume that school will be in session. When schools are open we know that students are in safe and warm places.