Inclement Weather and Emergency School Closings

Why would the district consider closing or delaying the school day?

The decision may be the result of inclement weather, loss of power, water main break and/or other emergency situations that may occur within the district. The Superintendent works with the Transportation Manager to verify the conditions of the roads and the ability for all buses to operate safely and for drivers to be able to arrive in time for routes to run.

Who makes the decision to close school?

All school closings and/or schedule changes are decided by the Superintendent or his designee. The most compelling reason for closing schools is the safety of our students. Decisions to cancel or shorten the regular school day and after school activities shall be made by the Superintendent or his designee in consultation with other staff, and may include consultation with local city/county personnel and neighboring school districts, as appropriate. The Transportation Manager will consult with the Superintendent to ensure facilities are able to receive students and buses are able to run routes. Decisions on school closings and late starts will be made as early as possible – either the night before or as early in the morning as possible, typically by 5:30 a.m.

How will the district determine Late Starts and Early Dismissals?

Late starts and early dismissals are inherently difficult for many programs and families. With this in mind, administration will do their best to keep these to a minimum. Early dismissals will be determined as conditions dictate. All families should have a contingency plan for their children in the event of school closings.

In the event of a late start, typically morning Early Childhood Preschool, PAIIR classes, School Age Child Care (SACC), Community Education Classes, and CTECH courses will all be canceled. Classes and programs that begin at noon or later will be held. Hawthorne Education Center will open at 9:30 a.m. and classes will begin at 10 a.m.

How will staff/families be notified?

All school closing information will be communicated by the Director of Communications or designee through:

  • Parent and Staff Notification System (messages via Skylert)
  • District and School websites
  • Social Media
  • Local Media Outlets – such as, but not limited to, KTTC, KAAL ABC 6, KIMT, and KROC
  • RPS Weather Phone Line: 507.328.3333

Families with students in the district are automatically enrolled in our Skylert messaging system, but community members have the option to opt into Skylert to learn about school closings. 

Skylert Sign-up

In the event of an early dismissal, typically Middle School After School classes will be canceled and there will be no late buses. All afternoon and evening Community Education/PAIIR classes for early childhood, youth, adults, and adults with exceptional abilities, School Age Child Care (SACC), Night School at the Rochester Alternative Learning Center (ALC), Afterschool Academy (ASA), Rochester After School Program (RAP), and all after school athletics, activities, and co-curricular will be canceled. All community building reservations will be canceled. Hawthorne Education Center will be closed.

What is Community Education's Weather Closing Procedure?

In the event of inclement weather or emergencies, the following guidelines are observed:

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  • If Rochester Public Schools are cancelled for the day, all Community Education classes are cancelled.
  • If school begins late, Community Education classes will not meet in the AM session. Classes that begin at noon or after will be held.
  • If school dismisses early, all Community Education classes are cancelled for the remainder of the day and evening.
  • For weather issues that threaten evening events, we will attempt to make all cancellation decisions by 3 p.m.
  • We encourage you to call our weather line at 507-328-4010 to listen for class cancellations due to inclement weather.

What about Weekend Events and/or Facility Rentals?

Weekend events and/or facility rentals will be determined by appropriate Community Education and athletic staff and communicated via local media outlets. Community Education’s Inclement Weather Line is (507) 328-4010.

SACC Inclement Weather Policy
Care on days when school is closed is at the discretion of the Rochester School District Administration and/or the Governor. If all District buildings are closed to provide safety for staff and families, care will NOT be available.

If RPS announces school closing PRIOR to the start of school.

  • SACC may be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Northrop Education Center (201 8th St. NW) for children registered in the School Age Child Care Program.
  • Be sure to send child(ren) with outdoor apparel, and a lunch/beverage.

If RPS announces school closing DURING the school day.

  • There will be no afternoon SACC.
  • Parents/Caregivers or Emergency Contacts must pick up their children upon school dismissal.

If RPS announces a late start to the school day

  • There will be no morning SACC.

Longfellow: Same as above, except during Longfellow’s 15-day break

  • Late start means SACC will begin at 11:30 a.m. (2-hr delay)
  • If closing early, SACC will close when RPS closes, and parents should pick up their children as soon as possible.