Extreme Winter Weather
Fairbanks can get cold.
During winter, the average low temperatures range from -15 °F to -25 °F, although it's common for temperatures to reach -40 °F, or even -50 °F. The record cold temperature in Fairbanks, according to the National Weather Service, is -66 °F.
The school district will not close schools simply because of cold weather.
- School buildings are warm and safe and an ideal place for students to be when it is extremely cold outside.
- In rare instances, the superintendent may close schools for safety reasons due to a combination of cold weather, road conditions, and ice fog.
- Parents may, at their discretion, keep their child home during cold weather, but they must notify the school of their intent on the day of the absence. Cold weather nonattendance does not relieve the student of his/her responsibility for making up missed work. All school days missed due to school closures will be made up at a later time during the school year.
- Students should dress appropriately for Fairbanks' cold weather. The district urges students to wear winter hats, gloves, heavy coats, and boots. Frostbite and hypothermia are serious risks in Alaska. Extreme temperatures are hazardous – damage can occur to uncovered skin within minutes.
Inclement Weather Decision-Making
A guide for parents and students on the District's decision process for possible school closure days.THE DECISION
If it is the night before...
- First Student and Transportation Department survey roads
- Transportation Department consults with the superintendent
If it is the morning of...
- By 9:00 pm superintendent makes decision
THE COMMUNICATIONIf the superintendent decides to enact SCHOOL CLOSURE or DELAYED START OF SCHOOL communication to parents and staff begins.COMMUNICATION METHODS
- By 5:15 am superintendent makes decision
- Phone call
- Text message
- District mobile app alert
- Social media
- 452-2000 message
- News media
DELAYED START OF SCHOOL
- School is canceled
- All district buildings will be closed
- All district related after school activities are canceled
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES for delayed start of school
- All schools will open 1.5 hours later than their usual start time and will end at their normal time
- For morning bus routes only, buses will run 1.5 hours later than normal. They will return students home at the regular dismissal time in the afternoon
- Transportation Department surveys weather conditions
- By 1:00 pm superintendent makes decision and communication to parents and staff begins
- 21st Century After School Programs continue unless parents are notified otherwise by 1:00 pm
Parents should always use their own judgment when deciding whether or not to send their child to school. Please contact the school within 48 hours to excuse your child's absence.
Outdoor recess is only canceled when the temperature reaches -20 °F. Students need to be prepared with appropriate outdoor clothing so they can take part in outside recess. When it is extremely cold, schools arrange appropriate indoor recess activities to keep students active.