Severe Weather Procedures
• Decisions to cancel school will be made by 6:30 a.m. On very rare occasions, school may be cancelled the night before, but with Kansas’ fluctuating weather conditions it is unlikely that an early determination will be made.
• If school is cancelled “School Messenger” phone, e-mail and text messages will be sent to all student and staff phone numbers and e-mail addresses on file with PowerSchool. It is critical that parents and staff keep these contact numbers up-to-date with their school office. Information will also be posted on the district webpage, www.usd490.org, and local media outlets will be notified.
• Multiple factors are considered when determining whether to cancel school. These include actual and predicted snowfall, icing, drifting, wind chill, flooding conditions, street/road conditions, utility and communications systems integrity, and other emergencies that prevent building and/or transportation operations. There are no specific snowfall amounts, temperature/wind chill factors, or flood stage levels that present a single determining factor for school closings. Moreover, it is more often a combination of the conditions noted above.
• The decision to close schools is made after consultation with transportation and operations directors, other area superintendents, and local authorities as needed.
• It is unlikely that one school in USD 490 will be cancelled and others will remain in session. Many of our families attend multiple schools and child-care is often provided by older siblings when school is cancelled.
• If an emergency condition develops while school is in session, early dismissal may be required. However, this would only be given consideration under the most extreme conditions. If a decision is made during the school day, the same notification procedures would be used, however no student would be released from school custody without confirming that a parent or their designee was in custody of the student. This includes confirmation from parents of high school students who are driving.
• Very few students are transported on rural routes in USD 490, however if road conditions are such that bus routes cannot run yet school is still in session, this will be communicated and absences for rural route students will be excused.
• Typically, if school is cancelled, all practices, meetings and extracurricular events are also cancelled on that same day. If school is in session and extracurricular events are continued, the same conditions for participation and attendance apply as they would for any other school day. If students are excused for illness or weather conditions by their parent they may not participate in extracurricular activities on that day.
• Outdoor recess/classes will not be conducted when the wind chill temperature is lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Outdoor recess/class will not be conducted when the heat index is higher than 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Sports practices will follow KSHSAA guidelines for het index precautions.
• In all severe weather situations the final determination for student attendance is made by the parent. If a parent feels weather conditions prevent their child from safely attending school, they should contact the school office and make notification that their child will be absent due to the weather conditions. This is recorded as an excused absence and make-up work will be given, just as it would for any excused absence.
Wind Chill Chart
Parents are reminded as students return to school and summer weather continues that, as a precaution, if the heat index is 105 or greater, students and staff will stay inside for PE and recess. In addition, on those days buses will be stocked with bottled water for students. Athletic and activity practices will adhere to the precautions outlined in the Kansas State High School Activities Heat Index Guideline.