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Inclement Weather Guidance

SY21-22 Update

With students back in the classroom every day, DC Public Schools will have traditional snow days with no virtual instruction in the event we need to close school buildings due to inclement weather.

How do we decide to close school?

The decision to delay or close school is a careful decision made by the Mayor informed by several 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.

How is the public notified of school closings?

Should snow or severe winter weather be expected, families will be notified via email and text message if schools may open late, dismiss early, or be closed. DCPS’ operating status will also be posted online at dcps.dc.gov, on @dcpublicschools social media accounts, and with local news outlets.

What does a 2-hour delay mean?

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.

What if inclement weather develops during the school day?

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.

When will school be made up?

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.

I’m a DCPS employee-how will I know when to report to my school or office?

Below is updated guidance that staff should follow when DCPS announces a closure, delayed opening, or early departure:

Reporting Guidance for School-Based Staff Members

When school buildings are closed:

In the event of an inclement weather school closure, all instructional staff members and non-essential school-based staff members will not need to report in person.

Essential school-based staff members may be required to report and/or remain in-person during their normal tour of duty as needed and directed by their supervisor.

When school buildings have a delayed opening or an early departure:

In the event of a delayed opening or early departure, all non-essential school-based staff members will begin or end reporting for duty based on the opening/closure time. Since the start and end time of the school day will be adjusted in such instances, it is expected that the staff member will not work their full tour of duty. Staff will not be expected to work virtually during those periods during which they are not reporting to work in their school building in order to work a full tour of duty on that day. Staff will still be paid at their normal rate of pay via the use of Administrative Closing Pay (ACP).

Essential school-based staff members may be required to report and/or remain in-person during their normal tour of duty as needed and directed by their supervisor.

Reporting Guidance for Staff Members in Central Office and other DCPS Non-School Facilities

Central Office and/or other DCPS non-school facilities may not always follow the closure and/or delay/early departure schedule of schools. In the event of a closure due to inclement weather, all non-essential Central Office staff members will either shift to or remain virtual for the duration of the closure, as needed, and directed by their supervisor or Chief.

Essential Central Office staff members may be required to report in-person as needed and directed by their supervisor or Chief.

In the event of a delayed opening or early departure, all non-essential Central Office staff members will begin or end reporting for duty as assigned based on the opening/closure time. This includes staff who are working in-person and virtually. In such instances, it is expected that the staff member will not work their full tour of duty. That is, staff will not be expected to work virtually during any period when Central Office is closed due to a delayed opening or early departure. Staff will still be paid during this time at their normal rate of pay via the use of Administrative Closing Pay (ACP).

Essential Central Office staff members may be required to report in-person or virtually as needed on their regular tour of duty and directed by their supervisor or Chief.

Requesting Leave

  • If an employee is unable to report in-person or virtually due to personal reasons, the employee may request to use their personal leave (sick or annual, as eligible).

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