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Inclement Weather Guidance

SY20-21 Update

During learning at home, students will continue to learn virtually with their teacher. Weather-related closures or delays will not impact student schedules.

DCPS employees working remotely, are expected to continue working their normal tour of duty even if DCPS buildings are closed or school openings are delayed.

How do we decide to close school?

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.

How is the public notified of school closings?

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.

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?

As DCPS continues to host both virtual and in-person learning, the reporting guidance in the event of inclement weather for school-based and Central Office staff members has been updated in alignment with the current instructional model in mind. Below is the updated guidance that staff must 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 non-essential school-based staff members will immediately shift to reporting virtually for the duration of the closure. The start and end times of the school day and the employee’s tour of duty will remain as normal.

  • Instructional staff members who typically report in-person will teach their assigned students virtually as directed by their supervisor.
  • Instructional staff members already reporting virtually will continue to teach their students virtually as directed by their supervisor.
  • Non-instructional staff members will complete their normal duties and/or other functions as directed by their supervisor.

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. This includes in-person and virtual staff, both instructional and non-instructional. 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 any times where 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 during this time 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

Note: Central Office and/or other DCPS non-school facilities may not always follow the closure and/or delay/early departure schedule of schools. The DCPS Communications Team will identify in their announcement whether there is differing guidance for administrative sites.

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 in-person and virtual staff. In such instance, 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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