The Student News Site of Frederick High School

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The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

Inclement Weather & Snow Days

Colorado’s natural beauty and variety of outdoor activities come with a cost: the weather along the Front Range can shift quickly and plunge to extreme highs and lows. Whenever the weather becomes too much of a risk to transport students to or from school, the district declares an inclement weather event. This most often happens in times of intense snowfall and road ice, so these events are commonly called “snow days.”


Inclement Weather Days (Snow Days)

When weather conditions make it so that in-person learning would be dangerous, the school district declares a snow day. They will send out an alert via email, text message, and pre-recorded phone message no later than 5:30 AM on the snow day, though the district often declares a snow day earlier if weather forecasts are definitive. In this case, the district may even suspend after-school activities the day before the snow day occurs.

On a snow day, all school buildings are closed. There will be no teachers, students, administrators, front office staff, or custodians at Frederick that day. This means no one can help you access the school building if you may have forgotten there. Thus, Frederick High recommends students bring iPads and any other essential learning materials (like musical instruments) home every night, especially in winter and early spring.

While the school building is shut down, learning is still expected to happen at home on snow days through the online web meeting platform WebEx. Teachers will post a WebEx link to their Schoology pages, and students are expected to log onto WebEx and attend brief classes with their teachers for two hours before using the rest of the day to work on their studies independently. Attendance is taken for these classes.

The virtual school day is shortened on snow days to allow students and teachers to address the home-centered issues that can come with inclement weather. In situations like a loss of internet or power where students cannot access the synchronous online learning, they are able to be excused for their absence. Just like a normal in-person school day, parents can contact the Frederick High office at (303) 833-3533 and excuse the student’s absence for any reason.

When it comes to extracurricular activities that are supposed to happen on a snow day, any events that are nonessential (e.g. an athletic practice, a club meeting, a play rehearsal) are canceled. Larger events like athletic games, art performances, or school evening events may still go on if the weather clears up and the roads are safe for travel by the time of the event. Decisions regarding these events will be made by noon on the snow day, and the district may choose to cancel all school events that evening, even those happening off campus.


Two-Hour Delays

Sometimes, weather and road conditions are acutely bad in the night and early morning but will clear up after the sun rises. Instead of declaring a snow day and moving the entire school day online, the district may declare a “two-hour delay.” This is exactly what it sounds like: the start of the school day for Frederick High students moves from 7:45 AM to 9:45 AM. Students on bus routes will be picked up two hours later than their normal pickup time, and the front office staff will be available starting at 9:00 AM instead of 7:00 AM. School ends at the same time: instead of moving the end of the school day, students will follow a shortened schedule of 62-minute classes.

Note that this is not the same as a Late Start schedule — Late Start days start at 10:15 AM, while Two Hour Delay days start at 9:45 AM.


When There’s Snow but No Snow Day

There are times when the district will not declare an inclement weather day even though the weather is still not ideal — a snow day is called only when the risk to students and staff is severe. Still, some parents may not want their students to drive to school in bad weather. In this case, parents can call the Frederick High office and excuse their student for the day. Students cannot log into an online learning option like on a snow day, but they will be able to catch up on missed work when they return to school in person.

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About the Contributor
Brandon Coon, Staff Adviser
Mr. Brandon Coon is the adviser of The Frederick Lantern. In his thirteen years in the classroom, he has taught grades six through twelve and subjects as diverse as AP Literature, literacy, drama, tech theatre, world history, yearbook, and computer science. He also cosponsors Frederick's chapter of the Quill and Scroll International Society for High School Journalists. He has a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Northern Colorado and is a member of Sigma Tau Delta.‚Äč

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