Closings, Delays and Synchronous Learning

Guidelines for School Delays and Closings Due to Inclement Weather

(updated January 2024)


  • Weather conditions are both variable and potentially extreme in northeast Indiana; the safety of children will guide decisions regarding delaying or closing.
  • Concrete rules do not exist in making decisions regarding variable and extreme weather; however, these guidelines will serve as a reference for Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS).
  • NACS believes in keeping our schools open whenever possible to provide educational services, supervision, and other services, such as access to breakfast and lunch, for each of our students
  • NACS believes all parents are committed to keeping children safe, and we believe all parents will dress their children appropriately for the existing weather conditions when sending their children to school.
  • NACS recognizes that it is first and foremost a parental decision as to whether a child should attend school on inclement weather days.
  • NACS respects each parent’s determination regarding her/his child’s attendance at school during inclement weather. If school is open or delayed because of inclement weather, the school will respect the parent’s decision to keep their child at home. Parents are expected to contact the school and inform school officials of their decision, and the student will be counted as absent, as required by Indiana code. Students who are absent because of inclement weather will be given the opportunity to make-up and complete their academic work.


  • On a typical school day, a delay and/or closing will be announced no later than 6:30 a.m.
  • Following a delay, if the need to close should arise, it will be announced no later than 8:30 a.m.
  • Following the district’s Twitter account, @NWAllenSchoolsFW or Facebook account, is the most immediate means of communication for school delays and/or closings and other information and news related to the district.
  • Parents can also choose to provide a cell phone number and receive a text message about school delays and/or closings via the School Messenger service. For more information about text notifications, please visit
  • Delay/Closing announcements can also be found on the district’s website at

Media outlets that are contacted and informed of the delay/close decision include:

  • WANE TV – Channel 15
  • WPTA TV – Channel 21
  • WOWO Radio – 92.3 FM / 1190 AM
  • WFFT TV – Channel 55

Delaying or Closing School Is Based on Multiple Variables

The need for driving slower and allowing additional travel time does not necessarily indicate that conditions are unsafe for travel to or from school. It is understood that varying interpretations and opinions exist regarding “right” decisions to close, delay, or dismiss early. Before a decision is made, as much information is gathered as possible, and it is made within the beliefs communicated on the previous page of this document. 

NACS decisions about whether school will be closed for the entire day, delayed, or closed early is influenced by our buses ability to safely transport students. The decision regarding whether it is safe enough for teenagers to drive is a family decision between each parent and her/his teenager.

NACS is comprised of three townships spanning about 108 square miles of northwestern Allen County; it is possible that one part of the district is experiencing safe conditions, while another part is not. Likewise, it is possible for other school districts to be experiencing different weather/road conditions than those within NACS. To prepare for the possibility of delayed schedules or school closings because of weather/road conditions, please develop alternate plans for childcare. Alternate childcare plans should accommodate the possibility of:

(a) school closing for the entire day;

(b) a delay schedule being implemented; and

(c) the early dismissal of school.

Delays and Early Dismissals

Delay schedules are typically two hours in length because a two-hour delay does not disrupt the end of the day schedule and does not create the need for a make-up day. Likewise, the earliest school can be dismissed without creating a need to make-up the day is two hours. 

Synchronous Learning and Make-up Days

Indiana statute requires 180 days of instruction. To comply with Indiana statute, each school closing will result in a make-up or synchronous learning day. For more information about synchronous learning days, please visit

Philosophically, we believe instruction at school under the direction of a teacher creates better learning conditions than synchronous learning activities. However, we acknowledge that virtual learning can aid in the continuation of the learning that has been taking place in the classroom and can greatly reduce the need to extend the school year and disrupt summer schedules. 

During the first semester, school closings implemented on or before December 15 will result in a synchronous learning day. If school is closed during the week of final exams (Dec. 18 – 21), then the Dec. 22 make-up day will be implemented.

During the second semester, synchronous learning days will be implemented prior to utilizing the scheduled make-up days. Make-up days will be used in circumstances to prevent extended periods of synchronous learning or when extenuating circumstances require the use of the make-up days. For the 2023-2024 school year, make-up days are scheduled for February 19, March 15, and April 19. 

Freezing Rain/Sleet and Dense Fog

The most unpredictable weather variables are freezing rain/sleet and dense fog. Freezing rain/sleet is temperature sensitive and, like dense fog, may be fast occurring; typically, each begins and ends with little notice. When freezing/rain sleet are predicted or when dense fog appears, the decision regarding whether school is delayed, closed, or on a normal schedule will occur at the latest possible time to observe the most current and local conditions.


Snowfall is more predictable than freezing rain/sleet. Because of the variance in actual snowfall when compared to predicted snowfall, the decision regarding school status is not determined until snow accumulation indicates a need for action. Such a decision, except in extreme situations, will generally be made in the morning.

Extreme Snowfall Situations

When snow accumulates to significant levels, or is at such a level with more snowfall predicted, then a decision regarding school delay/closing may be made the previous evening. A significant level is one in which local city, county, or state authorities have communicated directly with us that it is unlikely for streets, roads, or highways to be cleared and passable the following morning.

Extreme Cold (see included chart from the National Weather Service)

  • Temperature prediction is increasingly more accurate. NACS uses the hourly temperature predictions for its zip codes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( – we check conditions from both Fort Wayne International and DeKalb County airports). NACS also uses the Wind Chill Chart provided by the National Weather Service (included with these guidelines) showing when frostbite becomes a concern if bare skin is exposed to frigid temperatures for varying amounts of time.
  • If the air temperature, as predicted by NOAA, is expected to be –10 degrees Fahrenheit or colder at 6:30 a.m., then a two-hour delay may be considered in order to ensure that all buses start and do not experience mechanical difficulties. If the air temperature remains at –10 degrees Fahrenheit or colder at 8:30 a.m., then school may be closed depending on how our buses are responding mechanically. Such a determination will be made as early as possible, including the possibility of making and reporting such a determination the previous evening.

Extreme Wind Chill (see included chart from the National Weather Service) Wind chill predictions are not as accurate as temperature predictions because of the additional variable of wind speed and the variances in wind speed by time and location. While NOAA observations and predictions that we receive are based upon the open conditions at Fort Wayne International and DeKalb County airports, these conditions can vary from actual conditions within the district. Wind chills in areas that are protected from the open winds, such as conditions typically seen in areas with many building structures, like a subdivision, have actual wind chill temperatures less than what is reported in the open conditions present at each of the referenced airports. Local observations will affect the decision regarding delaying or closing school.

Based on the Wind Chill Chart provided by NOAA and the National Weather Service, concerns emerge when wind chill temperatures are at or near –20 degrees Fahrenheit with 30 minutes or more of exposure. Since our walking zones are less than 30 minutes, with nearly all being less than 15 minutes, wind chills warmer than –20 degrees Fahrenheit will typically result in remaining on time or open. Wind chill temperatures consistently colder than –30 degrees Fahrenheit we will likely result in a delay or closure. When wind chills are between these two extremes, then the decision will be made as late as possible to gather as much information as possible about local conditions.

NOAA Wind Chill Chart

Synchronous Learning
In the event that we need to cancel our regular school day, Northwest Allen County Schools will be implementing synchronous learning.  This means that we will be providing live instruction to students on days when we are unable to attend onsite.  Our hope is that this method for delivering instruction will better serve students and keep learning moving forward in a way that is more productive and engaging than simply posting videos and lessons.

The daily schedules for live instruction at each level of learning are provided below:

  • Elementary: 9:30am-Noon
  • Middle School: 9:00am-12:55pm
  • High School: 9:00am-12:25pm 

The expectations for students will be that they are actively attending live sessions on synchronous learning days. Having stated this, we do understand that situations arise that do not make this possible, and flexibility and alternatives will be provided to students when necessary. 

School Delay, Synchronous Learning and Closing Information 2023/24

 E-Learning versus synchronous learning chart