When Winter Weather Affects School REACH Alert Will Keep You Informed

Be prepared

Winter weather conditions sometimes prompt Anchorage Public School to cancel school, delay school or dismiss early.  Therefore it’s a good idea to decide in advance how best to keep up with the changes, what child-care arrangements are needed, and how to adjust to a different schedule.  Also, please make sure your child’s school has up-to-date phone numbers and emergency contacts for your family.  

Getting the word out
Announcements are made as early as possible on Louisville news channels (WDRB, WHAS, WLKY & WAVE) and the APS website. Families can register to receive a phone-call, and/or text-message, and/or email through our REACH Alert system.  We do not follow Jefferson County’s decision on school closings.

Students’ safety is a top priority, so on wintry days, district employees begin assessing conditions as early as 3:30 a.m. These leaders consider roads, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, precipitation, outdoor temperatures, wind chills, current conditions and the weather forecast, with a goal of announcing a decision by 6:00 a.m.

Whenever travel is unsafe, APS has three choices:

  1. Cancel school
  2. Delay the start of school
  3. Dismiss school early

IF SCHOOL IS CANCELED:  Afternoon and evening school sponsored student activities are canceled for elementary and middle school. School Council meetings are also canceled.  APTA meetings, Board meetings, and community sponsored activities held at school may continue at the superintendent and chairperson’s discretion.

IF SCHOOL IS DELAYED:  School starts either one or two hours later than normal. School dismissal times remain the same, and afternoon and evening activities continue as usual unless evening weather warrants a cancellation which would be communicated through REACH Alert and team coaches/club sponsors.

IF SCHOOL DISMISSES EARLY:  The decision will be made as early as possible to allow families time to make arrangements and all student after-school and evening activities are all canceled.  Elementary school families are asked to email their child’s teacher or call the school with instructions about how they want their child to go home if they want to alter procedures.  If families don’t make contact, the school will try to reach them. Students will be supervised until the last child is picked up.

Weekend activities

Canceling or dismissing school early on a Friday does not cancel weekend activities.  All school activities scheduled on the weekend are subject to cancellation under the following conditions:

  • When there is clear and present danger for automobile travel on local streets and roads. This condition may be assumed whenever local governmental agencies or the local police have issued warnings against unnecessary travel.
  • When there is a high probability of storms or other conditions that would most likely restrict safe travel on roads and streets during the next several hours.

Student activities scheduled on the weekend are subject to being placed on hold under the following conditions:

  • When the present weather conditions are not conducive to safe travel, but the local forecast indicates the condition will likely end within the next three hours.
  • When it is expected that streets and roads might become unsafe for travel during the time period that students, parents and sponsors will be traveling to or from the event.

If student activities are canceled or placed on hold, the club sponsor will contact the parents of student participants.  In the event that a large number of students are impacted a message will be sent via our REACH Alert system.

Make-up days

State law requires school districts to ensure at least 170 days and 1,062 hours of teaching and learning.  Cancellations and/or delays can result in days or hours added into the school calendar.  APS announces an adjusted calendar at the end of the winter snow season.

Registering for REACH Alert Notices

One way the Anchorage Independent Board of Education supports school/parent communication is through the purchase of REACH Alert, which is an emergency parent notification system.  In the case of severe weather, unexpected closings, delays, dismissals or emergencies the superintendent will enable the REACH Alert System that sends school alerts via text messages, phone calls (cell or landline) and/or emails.

To register for REACH Alert, simply follow the following steps:

  • Go to reachalert.com and click on MY ACCOUNT and then select CREATE ACCOUNT to establish your initial account.
  • Follow the prompts.
  • When prompted for Network Name, enter Anchorage School and click on the school name when it appears in the dropdown list.
  • When prompted for a role select parent
  • Upon joining the school network you may also want to click on JOIN and select the City of Anchorage. Individuals that only join the “Anchorage School” network will not receive City of Anchorage notices.  We recommend that you join both networks in order to receive all information that may be related to road closures or emergencies.

If you opted to receive text alerts, REACH Alert will send a text message to your cell phone immediately upon completion of your registration. Please enter the 4-digit number on the registration screen and then click the word VALIDATE. If you do not receive this message, please call REACH Alert at (877) 307-9313 for assistance. After you have completed the registration process, you may add other phone numbers and email addresses. From your dashboard page, click on the second tab at the top of the page – CONTACT INFO. From this page you will see where you can add and delete numbers and addresses.

If you already have registered for REACH Alert through the City of Anchorage, your place of employment, child care center, another school, or any other organization you can skip the registration process and simply go to www.reachalert.com and login to your current account and click on JOIN NETWORK on the right side of your dashboard page. Enter Anchorage School and click on our name in the dropdown list and follow the prompts.