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Emergency Closing/Weather Delay Information

Dear Big Lake Schools Community,

Many times throughout the school year, the superintendent has to make a difficult decision whether or not to cancel school, delay the start of school, release students early from school, or have students engage in eLearning due to weather and emergency situations. We wanted to share information with our families prior to Superintendent Truebenbach needing to make one of those decisions so you are prepared. Please review the information below, including how to update your information in the Parent Portal to receive emergency closing notifications. 

How do I opt-in to emergency texts and phone calls? 

Infinite Campus requires families to opt into emergency texts and phone calls as not all families have access to a cell phone or unlimited text messaging.  If you wish to opt into voice or text communications, please follow these steps: 

  • Login to your Infinite Campus Parent Portal
  • In the top right corner, click on your avatar
  • Click on Settings
  • Click on Contact Preferences
  • Under Message Preferences, select how you prefer to receive messages by checking Voice, Text (SMS), or Email

Where else can I check to see closing information? 

We will send communications via Infinite Campus Messenger, Voice and Text to ensure we are reaching all families in a timely manner. Additionally, we will post on our Facebook page, website, Kare 11, WCCO, and KSTP any closing information. 

Who makes the decision to close? 

The superintendent is ultimately responsible for making a decision to close, delay, release early, or engage in eLearning. In their absence, a designated member of the administration team makes the decision. 

What factors are considered? 

  • Current and forecasted weather conditions
  • Safety of students - this includes the ability of buses to start and run routes, the distance of students who may have to walk, etc.
  • Increased loss of learning time for students
  • Students who rely on the district to provide breakfast and lunch
  • Parents who are not paid for lost workdays or are out of sick/personal time off

Do you consult with other school districts? 

When considering whether to delay or close, Big Lake Schools consults Becker, Monticello and St. Michael-Albertville schools because they are the closest school districts to us that are similar in population and experience similar temperatures and weather conditions. 

When are decisions to cancel, delay or engage in eLearning made? 

It is the district’s goal to make a decision as soon as possible in order to allow parents to make alternative arrangements for work/child care. It is our deadline to alert parents by 5:30 a.m. for closings or delays and by 11 a.m. for early releases. Our goal is to make a decision and relay the information much earlier than these times; however, certain situations may delay the process. 

What about Kids Club, Community Education, Preschool and Activities? 

  • When school is canceled the day before: 
    • Kids Club and Hive Time are canceled
    • All Community Education and ECFE/ECSE classes are canceled
    • All after-school activities are canceled
    • Little Learners preschool is canceled
  • When school is canceled the day of:
    • Kids Club and Hive Time are open
    • All Community Education and ECFE/ECSE classes are canceled
    • All after-school activities are canceled
    • Little Learners preschool is canceled
  • When a late start is in effect: 
    • Kids Club and Hive Time open on time
    • AM Little Learners preschool is canceled
    • AM Community Education and ECFE/ECSE classes are canceled
    • After-school activities will occur
  • When an early dismissal is in effect: 
    • Kids Club and Hive Time will remain open until the last child is picked up
    • PM Little Learners preschool is canceled
    • PM Community Education and ECFE/ECSE classes are canceled
    • After-school activities are canceled 

What happens during eLearning? 

eLearning is used in the event that Big Lake Schools were to close due to inclement weather, utility emergency, etc.

  • Teachers will post assignments within 90 minutes of the scheduled school day and will be available to students for most of the day with the exception of lunch and their professional learning community meetings.
  • Teachers will communicate and post assignments on Seesaw or Otus along with expectations for the day. 

Thank you for your continued support of Big Lake Schools!

Sincerely,

Allen Berg

Director of Community Education & Communication Services