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School Closure Considerations

Information about public safety power shutoff (PSPS) school closure considerations.

Local educational agencies (LEAs) have many factors to consider when making a school closure decision. First and foremost is safety for students and staff. LEAs should consider the factors below, in addition to any other relevant local conditions or concerns, when deciding to close school.

Health and Safety:
  • Is access to the school site impeded?
  • Will the school be able to provide adequate supervision?
  • Is backup power available and/or does the site have adequate daylighting?
  • Will the school have safe drinking water and functioning bathrooms?
  • Can the site maintain fire and life safety via alarms or backup monitoring?
  • Will the school be able to serve meals?
  • Will the school be able to maintain student support services (e.g., health and counseling)?
Using an Equity Lens:
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged families may not have options for alternate child care.
  • Working parents and guardians are disproportionately affected by school closure and could suffer significant professional or economic consequences as a result.
  • Students receiving free or reduced-price meals may not have a reliable alternate source of healthy food.
  • Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) may not have access to needed services during school closure.
  • Schools provide safe and supportive environments for their students; our most vulnerable students rely on them most.
Instructional Time:
  • Instructional time is foundational to students’ academic achievement. LEAs should consider adding instructional days or minutes to the school calendar when time is lost due to school closure.
  • LEAs that have a foreseeable loss of instructional time due to a history of school closures should consider adding “built-in emergency” days to the annual school calendar.
  • Information on requesting credit for lost attendance and instructional time during an emergency is available on the California Department of Education Form J-13A webpage.
Timing and Communication Plan:
  • In making the decision to close school, an LEA should balance the desire to provide parents and guardians sufficient notice of a school closure with the potential of cancelling school prematurely.
    • Encourage families to create contingency plans in the event a school closure materializes.
  • Have a plan to communicate regularly with your students, parents and guardians and employees.
Additional Resources

Any impacted school or LEA can contact EmergencyServices@cde.ca.gov to connect with the CDE team for assistance.

Questions:   Emergency Services Team | EmergencyServices@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0327
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
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