Emergencies, Delays and Closures

Shelter and Evacuation Guides, Family Preparedness Guides, and Safety Tips

Ways to get informed about emergencies, delays or closures in DCPS

Way #1: Check the DCPS homepage.

Way #2: Sign up to receive email alerts.

Way #3: Follow us on Twitter.

Way #4: Follow us on Facebook.

Way #5: Sign up to receive text messages from:

Ways #6 & #7: Listen to the radio and/or watch TV.

AM Radio FM Radio Television
  • WMAL (630)
  • WOL (1450)
  • Radio America, Spanish (1540)
  • WTOP (1500)
  • WAMU (88.5)
  • WTOP (103.5)
  • WHUR (96.3)
  • Channels 4, 5, 7, and 9
  • Cable Channels 8, 16 and 28

Way #8: Call (202) 442-5885 or dial 311 for DC's Citywide Call Center.


Kid Friendly Emergency Guide

Be Ready: An Emergency Guide for DC Kids


Learning Activities for Snowed In Families

Snow may get in the way of school, but it needn't stop learning.

When children are home from school, set aside time everyday for quiet reading. Also, it's a great opportunity for your children to learn about snow, create their own books, put on plays, or create puppet shows.

Many enriching activities are also available on the web. Children can visit a museum online, see animals in the zoo via the Zoo webcams, and spend time on many educational websites. Learn more »


Family Preparedness Guides

Shelter and Evacuation Guides

 (Guides provided by DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management)

When do we close schools?

We strive to keep DCPS schools open whenever possible. 

We are reluctant to close school as it is our priority to ensure that our students have access to all they need, including academic instruction, nutritious meals and healthy extracurricular programming.

When there is inclement weather, we work closely with the DC government and other agencies to obtain the best and most current information. The decision to delay and close schools is made with careful consideration of road safety, sidewalk safety, and meal availability.

The decision to delay or close schools applies to all DCPS schools. This includes DCPS elementary, middle and high schools.

Parents always have the choice to keep their kids at home, pick them up early or send them late – even when DCPS makes the decision to remain open. You are the ultimate decision makers when it comes to your kids!

Teachers follow the school day or student schedule. If students report two hours late, teachers report two hours after their normal required start time.

There are a number of DCPS employees designated as "essential personnel."

Central Office essential personnel include:

- Chiefs and their direct reports essential to operating schools and continuing critical DCPS functions

- Inclement weather team

School-based staff essential personnel include:

  • Building engineers and custodians
  • Principals and designated administrative team members (such as Assistant Principals, Dean of Students, and Coordinators) 
    •  If schools are closed, principals and other members of the administrative team do not report to school.
    •  If schools are delayed, principals and other members of the administrative team are expected to report to school as soon as practical, but in any event within two hours of the normal start time so that the building is readied when the students and teachers arrive.


Inside DCPS Highlights.


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