Cancellations and Closings
When school must be canceled, delayed, or dismissed early because of weather conditions or other emergencies, the School/Community Relations Department works to inform district families and staff in a timely manner. There are many opportunities each year for families to provide and confirm their contact information to ensure they receive communications about cancellations, delays, and closings in the way that works best for each family.
New Plan for 2020-21 “Snow Days”
WDMCS is taking a different approach to “snow days” in 2020-21. If school cannot be held on-site due to inclement weather, we will transition for that day to online learning for ALL students. School will start at normal time for all students unless otherwise communicated.
Using this approach, developed as a COVID-19 precaution during return-to-learn planning, will prevent the district from having to add make-up days at the end of the year.
Where can I find cancellation/closing information?
If school is canceled, delayed, or dismissed early, announcements will be made:
- through the district weather hotline at 515-633-5555
- through the Blackboard notification system (email, phone call, text, district app notification based on individual contact preferences)
- on the district website (www.wdmcs.org)
- on the district’s Facebook page and Twitter account
- through local media outlets
See the sidebar for a full list of media outlets to find information.
How do I receive a call, text, or email from the Blackboard notification system?
WDMCS uses our Blackboard notification system to directly call, text, and email families about cancellations, delays, and dismissals. To receive a call, text message, and/or email, make sure your contact information is correct in Infinite Campus; this feeds to Blackboard. If you did not update your contact information when going through our annual enrollment process this summer, please log into Infinite Campus and make sure we have your current email and phone numbers.
How are weather delays, cancellations, and early dismissals determined?
The Superintendent’s Office works with the Transportation Department to determine the safety of transportation. WDMCS may also consult with weather forecasting sources, city public works departments, and neighboring school districts. WDMCS may decide to:
- delay the beginning of the school day by one hour,
- delay the beginning of the school day by two hours,
- transition for that day to online learning for ALL students,
- cancel school, or
- dismiss school two hours early.
A decision to delay, transition online, or close is normally made by 5:45 a.m. A decision to close AFTER a decision had already been made to transition online or delay is normally made by 7 a.m. A decision to dismiss early is normally made by 11 a.m.
Once a decision is made, it is communicated through the district weather hotline, the district website and social media, and several media outlets. See the sidebar for a full list of places to find information. If conditions change enough to warrant a change from a delay to a cancellation, a secondary message is sent to families as soon as possible.