Winter Weather 101: Canyons District’s Emergency Closure Guidelines

As Utah’s winter season approaches, here’s a reminder of Canyons District’s procedures and guidelines regarding snow closures and delays.  

First and foremost, it’s important to know that Canyons District will make every effort to keep schools open and operating as usual. Snow storms can wreak havoc with morning commutes, but weather-related school closures and delays are rare. 

In the event, however, the weather is so extreme that road conditions become unsafe, the District will either implement a late start, giving snow plows time to clear the roads, or close schools and pivot to a remote-learning day. 

Moving to remote learning, instead of dismissing classes, keeps students, parents and employees safe while maintaining the continuity of instruction and alleviating the need for families to adjust their schedules to accommodate make-up days, which can disrupt holidays and summer plans. Plus, students who complete their studies will still be able to enjoy some “snow day” fun with friends, said School Performance Director Alice Peck. “It will be a blizzard of learning with plenty of time for sledding, snow balls, and hot chocolate.” 

Pilot tested last year during a heavy storm on Feb. 17, 2021, the remote-learning approach proved to be an effective way to keep students on track with their learning. Student attendance that day — as measured by students logging on to CSD’s online learning platform, contacting their teachers, or completing required classwork — improved or remained the same at 35 CSD schools. Make-up days, on the other hand, have had historically poor student attendance with absence rates as high as 30 to 50 percent. 

How will Canyons decide if conditions call for pivoting to remote instruction, and how will families be notified?

How we decide:  School closures are announced when authorized by the Canyons Superintendent of Schools or his designee after consulting with senior staff members and the Transportation Department, which has drivers out on inclement days as early as 4 a.m. to survey road conditions. The National Weather Service and other state, county and city agencies also may be consulted.

How we will notify families: Canyons District will notify families and employees of emergency remote-learning days as early as possible through our Skyward notification system. We also will employ our websites and Facebook and Twitter (@canyonsdistrict) accounts. Parents and employees also should tune into Wasatch Front radio and television stations for information.

Please note that closures are for one day only.  No announcement means schools will be open and operating as usual. 

How can students and parents prepare for emergency remote-learning days?

  • If inclement weather is in the forecast, teachers will work with students to make sure they have the materials and assignments they need to learn from home.
  • Elementary students will work independently with a parent or guardian to complete the assignments and learning expectations communicated by their teacher using instructional packets or by logging in to CSD’s Canvas learning portal.
  • Middle and high school students will log in to the Canvas dashboard for each of their classes and work their way through their regular course schedules.
  • Teachers will be available on remote-learning days via email and connect with students through Canvas and Zoom or Google Meet.
  • Extracurricular activities — sporting events and practices, afterschool tutoring and theatrical rehearsals and performances — will be canceled unless road conditions improve enough to be able to safely hold the activity.
  • We understand inclement weather can cause power and Internet outages. If you lose power or WiFi access at home, contact your teacher or school to report the outage and continue to work on previously assigned learning activities.
  • It’s important, each year, for families to log in to Skyward Family Access to update their contact information and settings. New this year: Parents can sign up to receive text messages in addition to emails and phone calls. For help updating Skyward settings, please call 801-826-5544.

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