Inclement Weather Notice Graphic

Inclement Weather Information

The decision to implement an abbreviated day schedule requires the coordinated efforts of many people. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sue Cleveland works with other staff members, the Rio Rancho Police Department, and the Department of Student Transportation (DOST) to gather information on weather and road conditions throughout Rio Rancho.  This information is used to determine whether our school buses can safely deliver students to school and whether staff, parents and student drivers can safely reach our campuses. It is not an exact science: conditions can vary widely in different parts of town and sometimes conditions change after a decision has been made.

Dr. Cleveland makes the final decision to implement an abbreviated day schedule or cancellation of school. In the very rare instances she is not available, the decision is made by the Chief Operations Officer or the Chief Academic Officer (the Superintendent's deputies).

It is recommended that families have a plan in place for school weather delays and closures, as well as other emergencies.

What is an abbreviated day schedule?

The abbreviated day schedule is a shortened school day which begins two hours later than the regular schedule, but ends at the regular time.  Bus schedules are also delayed two hours.  The most common use of the abbreviated day schedule occurs when severe weather causes street conditions that would endanger the safety of students on their way to school. Notification is usually made by 5:30 a.m. Should the complete cancellation of school be necessary, notification is usually given by 7:30 a.m.  

While schools have different "bell schedules", 
most schools on an abbreviated day schedule will utilize the following instructional times (see the note below regarding dismissal times if the schedule is abbreviated on a Wednesday):

  • Pre-school (Shining Stars)No morning classes; Afternoon classes on a 30 minute delay beginning at 12:35 PM

  • Elementary Schools (except Colinas del Norte and Puesta del Sol): 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

  • Colinas del Norte and Puesta Del Sol Elementary: 9:30 AM – 1:55 PM 

  • Middle Schools: 10:10 AM – 3:15 PM 

  • High Schools: 9:20 AM – 2:29 PM

  • Desert Pathways: 9:20 AM – 1:55 PM

  • Independence High School: 9:45 AM – 2:05 PM 

  • Rio Rancho Cyber Academy:  9:45 AM – 2:05 PM

If the schedule is abbreviated on a Wednesday, there is no early dismissal.  The dismissal time is what it would be on a typical Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday.

Early Dismissal:  

If severe weather conditions materialize during the school day, the decision for an “early dismissal” will be made by 11:30 a.m. in order to arrange for school buses to arrive at your schools prior to normal dismissal time. The most efficient schedule for most school buses after 11:30 a.m. is to complete its preschool runs and to begin the “three tiered” schedule for that particular day.

Child and parent in snow standing by a stop sign

If an emergency condition is site specific (e.g., power outage), that school site may be the only one placed on an abbreviated schedule. 

How are parents notified?

Parents will be directly notified by email and phone through the district's mass notification (robo-call) system.  The information will also be posted to the district website, social media, and other media outlets such as TV stations and radio stations.  Do not rely solely on the media for your information.  The district's mass notification system and website should be your primary source for the correct information.

Please avoid calling your student's school or the district office if at all possible, since staffing will be limited at best (employees have the same challenges getting to schools in bad weather as parents and students). 

PARENTSPlease make sure that your contact information (especially email addresses and home/cell phone numbers) have been updated in your child’s school record so that our school staff and phone notification system are able to reach the correct person in the case of emergencies or for attendance calls. For more information about the Emergency Notification System, click here.

S.A.F.E. before- and after-school program:

  • In the event of a delayed school schedule due to inclement weather, the S.A.F.E. program will not operate the before-school portion of the program, but will operate as normal during the afterschool portion of the program.

  • In the event of an early release school schedule due to inclement weather, the school will notify parents to pick up their children and the S.A.F.E. Program will not operate if school is dismissed early.

  • In the event of school cancellation, neither the before- or after-school program will operate.