The decision to delay or close school is a careful decision informed by a number of factors, including temperature and wind chill, levels of snow and ice, road conditions, the availability of public transit, and how these conditions are forecast to develop over the course of the day. The Mayor ultimately decides whether schools are open, delayed, or closed by reviewing the latest information. A decision is typically made between 4 - 5 am the morning of the delay or closure.
The best source of information is the DCPS twitter account (@dcpublicschools). Information will also be shared on the DCPS website (dcps.dc.gov), DCPS social media accounts, and local TV and radio stations.
A delay causes schools to open two hours later than the normal start time. Schools will still close at the regular time. A delay does not count as a snow day and does not need to be made up later in the year. Any before-school programs such as daycare will be cancelled. Schools will individually decide how to alter their bell schedule for a delay and if they will serve breakfast. When the opening of school has been delayed due to weather, afterschool programs will operate as scheduled.
We open with the intent of remaining open for the full school day. Early dismissals are used only in extreme situations. The decision to cancel any extended day, afterschool program, or athletic event will come from the Chancellor. In such cases, DCPS will inform schools and families that afterschool programming is cancelled. If we need to close early, students will still be served lunch before dismissal.
State law requires us to have a minimum of 180 school days. To meet this requirement, some snow days will need to be made up at the end of the year. DCPS will communicate make-up days each year accordingly.