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Snow Days SY15-16

In an effort to proactively share about snow days to our families and communities, we would like to share the below DCPS letter to families to notify them of the reasons that DCPS closes school, what happens on a snow day or 2-hour delay, and when school will be made up at the end of the school year. The letter is also available in English and 5 other languages on the DCPS public website at
Click this link to see the letter in full.

Dear DCPS Families,

As we approach the winter months, we have begun planning for inclement weather. Almost every year, Washington experiences a few days of very cold, icy, or snowy weather that necessitate closing or delaying school. Hopefully we have a mild winter but if not, we want you to be prepared ahead of time.

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 4:00-5:00 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 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.
• If we have 1 snow day, there will be no changes to the calendar.
• If we have 2 snow days, June 16 will become a full day and June 17 will become a half-day with dismissal at 12:15pm. The Professional Development day for teachers will not be rescheduled.
• If we have 3 snow days, May 23 and June 16 will become full days and June 17 will become a half- day with dismissal at 12:15 PM. Neither the Professional Development day nor the Parent-Teacher Conference day will be rescheduled.

John Davis, Chief of Schools