ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - While we enjoy the last glimpses of fall, area schools are setting up procedures for winter storm closings.

At Wednesday’s school board meeting, District 742 Superintendent Laurie Putnam outlined the protocols for this winter’s storms.

The St. Cloud Area School District, Sartell, and Sauk Rapids–Rice school districts will again communicate with each other and cancel or postpone school as a group whenever possible.

Putnam did remind the board that parents always have the ability to make their own decisions.

Parents or guardians always have the option to keep their child home during inclement weather if they believe that it is the safest option for their child. When people express concern to me, I will remind them that my job is to make the best decision I can for over 9000 students and over 2000 staff. Their responsibility is to make the best decision they can for their one or their two or their three.

The decision-making process for a cold-weather closure includes:

  • 35 degrees below zero temperature (either base temperature or wind chill) is forecasted or reported at the St. Cloud location.
  • Official reports will be taken from the National Weather Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
  • If the temperature is predicted to rise above -35 degrees by 9:30 a.m., a two-hour start may be considered.

For inclement weather, the following factors will influence a decision:

  • Forecasted snow, ice, wind, and an accumulation of weather factors.
  • Current road conditions as reported by transportation teams.
  • The school will avoid an early release whenever possible.

Whenever possible, the school districts will make a decision about closing the evening before.

  • All evening communication will be made prior to 9:00 p.m. There will be no communication to parents and families after 9:00 p.m.
  • Morning communication will be made between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Other weather-related notes:

  • In the event of a school closure or early release, no activities or practices will be held. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • KidStop will provide child care at selected locations during cold-weather school closures.

The school’s website will hold all the information about school closings, early openings, and late dismissals.

More From 103.7 The Loon