Snow Removal

The DCSD Operations and Maintenance snow removal team is committed to providing safe access to over eighty (80) District schools and support sites. Every effort will be made to provide access that is reasonably clear of snow and ice. Our goal is to make all bus loops, student drop-offs, parking lots, drives, sidewalks and entrances safe and accessible for use during and after a storm, and depending on the severity and timing of the storm, to ensure the usability of play pads as soon as possible following the event. To meet the needs of our customers, we will evaluate and update the snow and ice control plan annually, including an assessment of equipment and personnel readiness, to provide a safe and uniform level of service.


Douglas County averages over seventy (70) inches of snowfall annually, with variable factors (such as the rate and accumulation of snowfall, moisture content, temperature, time of day or night, wind direction, velocity and duration) interacting to create a unique aspect for each storm, resulting in no two storms that are identical.

This document concisely summarizes information regarding the district’s snow removal operations to combat these storms, including snow and ice removal safety and operations planning, priorities, responsibilities, and key contacts.

Procedures and information regarding the district’s weather delay and closure criteria can be accessed through the district website at Weather Closure Information, or for the most accurate and up-to date school closure or delayed start schedule information, please call the Douglas County School District’s Weather Hotline at 303-387-SNOW (7669). Regardless of whether school is delayed or canceled, the district always respects a parent's decision to keep their students home during adverse weather conditions. The district’s snow and ice removal measures are limited to district property and do not include public roads maintained by state, local municipalities or HOA’s. And finally, please remember to always select sensible footwear when snow and ice is present, to help prevent slips and falls. 

Pre-Storm Operations

Response planning for a forecasted storm/snow event relies heavily on receiving accurate weather information. Weather forecasting is imperative in determining timely and appropriate allocation of resources based on the predicted severity, timing and location of the storm. When the National Weather Service issues a snow alert, DCSD snow removal crews, custodial personnel and plowing contractors are notified. The Grounds Manager or designee will make timing, process and resource allocation decisions for vehicular snow removal operations (snow removal from bus loops, drop-off lanes, parking lots and service drives). The Custodial Manager or designee will make timing, process and resource allocation decisions for non-vehicular snow removal operations (sidewalks, entrances, doorways, stairwells). When an overnight storm warning is forecast, the Managers or designees will monitor snowfall conditions throughout the night and mobilize resources between midnight and 4 am depending on the storm’s timing and severity.

Storm Operations


Once a snow event has begun, the Grounds department, led by the Grounds Manager and supported through contractors, is responsible for plowing and applying ice slicer to bus loops, drop-offs, parking lots and service drives, while the Custodial department, led by the Custodial Manager, is responsible for clearing sidewalks, entrances, doorways and stairwells (areas where clearing cannot be accomplished by vehicle).Depending on the severity of the storm and the equipment available at the specific school, either the Grounds or Custodial department will be responsible for clearing play pads, as time and resources allow – during heavy snow events play pads may take up to 48 hours to clear due to limited resources allocated to priority areas district-wide.


Level 1 priority areas include drive lanes, bus loops, access points and handicap parking stalls, sidewalks, entrances, doorways and stairwells. Level 2 priority areas include parking lots (stalls and curb to curb clean up). Level 3 priority areas include blacktop areas and/or playgrounds. It can take from 24-36 hours to complete these priorities. 

When schools are out of session for seasonal breaks in winter, spring and possibly fall, site priorities will be those with Before and After School Enterprise (B.A.S.E.) or other daycare programs that are in session, as well as any facility rentals such as churches or special events.


The specific response protocols are numerous and based on the specific nature of the storm.

Generally speaking, minor snow accumulations (less than 1 inch) after school hours can be dealt with using an application of ice slicer for vehicular areas, beginning at 4 am. Concurrently, sidewalks and entrances are cleared by custodial personnel, using light equipment or shovels. 

If, however, snow accumulations are expected to exceed 2 inches, conditions will require that all schools be plowed prior to the application of ice slicer. Personnel and contractors will be mobilized based on the timing and intensity of the storm, often beginning the night before if possible and continuing into the morning hours. Custodial personnel may be required to report to work early, in order to begin clearing of sidewalks and entrances. In order to maximize personnel and equipment, Operations & Maintenance team members are prepared to shift from normal work hours and procedures whenever necessary to initiate snow and ice control operations.

Key Contacts

DCSD Weather Hotline  |  303-387-SNOW (7669)

Grounds Department Administrative Specialist
Darlene Roussa | 303-387-9561

Administrative support for the Grounds department and is the primary point of contact for questions or concerns about the vehicular snow removal operation. This includes all areas plowed using a vehicle, such as bus loops, drop-off lanes and parking lots.

Custodial Department Administrative Specialist
Marilyn Harris  | 303-387-0458

Marilyn provides administrative support for the Custodial department and is the primary contact for questions or concerns about the non-vehicular snow removal operation. This includes sidewalks, entrances, stair wells and play grounds.

Director of Operations & Maintenance
Bill Fordyce  
| 303-387-9555 

Bill is the Interim Director of Operations & Maintenance, and is responsible for all operations including building maintenance, custodial, energy management, environmental health, grounds and sustainability.

DCSD Security  |  303-387-9999

DCSD Security is an excellent 24/7 contact for emergency needs. Please keep this one number, as they can contact the appropriate DCSD personnel, or if necessary Fire or Law Enforcement Authorities.

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).