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UPDATE: D49 Closed, Friday, March 15

Winter Weather for March 13

 UPDATE:

 

District 49 Closed Friday, March 15, 2019

  

As county and district crews have been grinding through cleanup from our blizzard, it has become clear that we will not be able to prepare our school sites for safe operations Friday. One of the underreported but significant issues at schools is the importance of clearing all emergency exits before bringing students or staff on site. In addition, many of our bus drivers live in neighborhoods that are still impassable, so they will not be able to get to the bus depot at all.

 

Our facilities and transportation teams have been working diligently to get ready for school Friday, but they can’t overcome the larger community road delays that are slowing operations enough to prevent us from recovering in time. We are also discovering we have 2-3 inches of solid ice underneath drifted snow in many locations--which slows plowing efforts and adds a layer of risk mitigation for Friday.

 

So, District 49 is closed for Friday, March 15. Administrators at Falcon High School report FHS will have an E-Learning day. SSAE will also operate on a virtual schedule.

 

Stay safe, enjoy spring break, and think sunshine!

 

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District 49 will close Thursday, March 14, 2019.

 

The severe weather impacting our region Wednesday met all expectations of rapidly deteriorating conditions creating dangerous travel for much of our district. Long range forecasts again call for additional snow paired with sustained winds of 30 mph for our area past noon Thursday. Those conditions present significant challenges to safely carrying on with our normal daily operations and would not be improved with a two-hour delay. Accordingly, District 49 will close Thursday, March 14, 2019.

 

Administrators at Falcon High School report FHS will be on an E-Learning schedule. SSAE will have a virtual schedule.

 

As always, our first priority is the safety of students and staff all over the district. Because our bus and personal transportation routes support many students and staff who travel across zones, we make our weather call decision by evaluating overall conditions that might put any district students or staff at risk. We appreciate your trust and support as we prioritize safety and pursue learning.

 

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District 49 will close Wednesday, March 13, 2019. FHS will be on an e-learning day and SSAE will be on a virtual schedule. 

 

An intense blizzard is forecast to arrive in the Pikes Peak region mid-day tomorrow, Wednesday, March 13. Although the day will begin with moderate conditions, afternoon winds gusts are projected to reach well into the range (50-70 mph) where it would be dangerous or impossible to operate high-profile school buses. Those winds, combined with projected snow totals that might exceed five inches in parts of our district, mean that roads may close, and our staff and students could be stranded at schools with no safe way to get home.

 

It is unusual to close school so far in advance of the system arriving, but the forecast models are so unified and the risks are significant enough that we want to give everyone affected the maximum time to prepare—especially as teachers finalize lessons before spring break. This decision and the timing reflect our values of care and responsibility, along with trust and respect for the feedback we receive from our winter weather surveys.

 

This event is projected to continue overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning, so stay tuned for additional communications about our plans for Thursday. We will continue assessing conditions through Wednesday evening and make any necessary decisions and announcements as promptly as possible.

 

NOTE: Because this has been a wintry winter, many of our staff and families are concerned that we will “run out of snow days.” That is highly unlikely. In District 49, our calendar includes an early start in August along with five-day weeks throughout the school year. In addition, our practice of taking our two-week spring break in March (historically the month with the most snow) means we have an adequate buffer remaining even with the number of delays and closures this year.

 

We appreciate your trust and support as we prioritize safety and pursue learning. Please also thank the support staff who work extra shifts to keep our campuses safe, the teachers who adjust plans to recapture learning, and all the others who make the best of our challenging weather.

 

David Nancarrow
Director of Communications