Snow Closure Procedures

                                      Inclement Weather Information

UPDATE: Since this letter was sent in the fall, the Board has approved an additional school day off for staff and students on April 18. This means students will now have to make up snow day #7 (if we have that many) to meet DESE’s instructional hours requirement. The correct information is now:

•  The first three snow days will be made up at the end of the  year.
•  The next four snow days (#4, #5 and #6) will be forgiven (no make-ups for these days).
•  Snow days #7, #8, #9 and #10 will have to be made up at the end of the year.

November 10, 2021


Dear FHSD Staff and Families:

With winter just around the corner, I wanted to provide some information regarding inclement weather.

At its October 21 meeting, the FHSD Board of Education approved a revised 2021-22 school year calendar that reflects changes to snow days for the current school year:

  • The first three snow dayswill be traditional snow days (no instruction or AMI requirements) and will be made up at the end of the year. This is consistent with our past practice. 

  • The next four snow dayswill not have to be made up due to extra instructional time in the calendar. This is a change from past practice.

  • In the unlikely event that the District experiences more than seven snow days, snow days 8, 9 and 10 will be added to the end of the school year. 

These changes were recommended to the Board after considering feedback from a community survey with more than 5,400 responses and input from a snow day committee composed of parents and staff members. Thanks to all who participated!

Other things to note about our inclement weather procedures:

  • The decision to cancel school is made for the entire District. The Francis Howell School District encompasses more than 150 square miles, and there will be times when the conditions in some parts of the District may be deemed unsafe while conditions in another part of the District may not be as bad. The decision to cancel school is made for the entire District, and not for a specific area.

  • The District makes every attempt to reach a decision regarding the closing of school by 5:00 a.m. However, there may be times when the weather conditions are changing rapidly in the early morning hours, and the decision could be delayed. While the District strives to make the best decision for all students, there may be times when a parent needs to make the final determination on their child’s attendance on a particular day.

  • The District will provide communication about closures via the SchoolMessenger notification system. It is important that your information is up-to-date with the school to ensure you receive timely notification. Closure information will also be provided via the District’s website and social media channels, and on local TV and radio stations.

  • The District may dismiss early when winter weather arrives quickly and unexpectedly during the school day. Parents/guardians who work outside the home during school hours are encouraged to have a plan in place to ensure an adult is available to care for young children if they get home early. Make certain that your children know where to go if no one is at home when they arrive.

I understand that changing the school day schedule for any reason is disruptive to our families. Please know that these decisions are not taken lightly and will only be made after careful consideration. My desire is to keep our students and staff safe, and to keep everyone informed about school closings as quickly as possible. 

We appreciate your cooperation every day of the year, and especially so during times when we are experiencing weather that can be dangerous for our students and staff. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan Hoven
Superintendent



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Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t students have to make up all snow days this year?
Missouri requires public school students to attend school for a minimum of 1,044 hours per school year. Because our current calendar exceeds the state’s required instructional hours, we have the ability to forgive some snow days versus tacking all of them on the end of the year.

What about AMI days?
AMI, or Alternative Methods of Instruction, can be used for up to 36 hours lost or cancelled due to exceptional or emergency circumstances, such as inclement weather closures. AMI will not be utilized in the 2021-22 school year, but may be an option in the future if and when the District is able to provide Chromebooks and other technology supports for all students.

Will high school seniors have to make up all snow days due to their shortened calendar?
Yes. High school seniors follow a modified calendar and attend school for the minimum hours required by DESE. Their last scheduled school day is May 20. Snow days 1-10 would be added to the end of their calendar.

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