December 2023 Update

Ensuring Safety and Communication in Challenging Conditions
Posted on 12/01/2023

As winter approaches, the Earlham Community School District (CSD) has established a comprehensive Winter Weather Protocol which stems from Board Policy 501.17, to streamline the decision-making process regarding school delays, cancellations, or early dismissals due to inclement weather. The goal of the protocol is to ensure our parents, students and staff are informed of any delays or cancellation during the winter months. The below information outlines the who, when and how our district makes the decision regarding winter weather. 

Media and Local Notification Channels

The district aims to communicate timely and accurate information through various channels:

Media Notification:

- Channel 5 - WOI

- Channel 8 - KCCI

- Channel 13 - WHO

Local Notification:

- School Messenger (Phone, text, and email)

- School Social Media (Facebook and Twitter)

Decision-Making Team

The ultimate decision-maker regarding school schedule changes rests with the superintendent, with crucial input from key personnel including:

- Building and Grounds Director, Shawn Boyle

- Transportation Coordinator, Doug Randolph

- Superintendent, Steve Kaster

- Police Chief, Matt Stringham or the on-duty officer for road condition updates

- Madison County Emergency Manager - Dio Ayala

Monitoring Weather Conditions

The district will closely monitor weather conditions through reliable sources such as and Emphasizing a cautious approach, the district will take preemptive action if weather predictions indicate 2+ inches of blowing snow, preferably deciding the night before. In overnight or sudden snow scenarios, a decision will be reached no later than 5:30 am.

For temperature-related concerns, particularly wind chill, the National Weather Service Index will guide decisions. In cases of extreme cold, a delay may be considered if the forecasted wind chill at 7:00 am is at or below -25°F. School cancellations may be implemented if the forecast for 10:00 am suggests potential frostbite times in 30 minutes or less, prioritizing student safety.

Prioritizing Safety and Well-being

The district underscores its commitment to prioritizing the safety and well-being of students. Any decision impacting regular school days, practices, or games will be promptly communicated.

Implications for Activities

In the event of a cancellation, no activities—whether school-sponsored or not—will be held at the school. For late starts, there will be no before-school activities. Similarly, in the case of an early dismissal due to weather, after-school activities will be canceled.

Community Engagement

The district encourages questions or feedback regarding the Winter Weather Protocol OR if you are a parent and not receiving notifications through powerschool, please contact the district office at 515-758-2235.  

As winter weather approaches, the Earlham CSD is taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of its students and staff, demonstrating a commitment to transparent communication and thoughtful decision-making in the face of challenging conditions. Stay warm and be safe during the upcoming winter season.