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Winter Weather Procedures

Winter Weather Procedures

Blue snowflake

Winter is here.  Inclement weather can sometimes impact school schedules.  Sharing procedures for school delays and closures helps everyone prepare.

How are decisions made to delay or cancel school?  On days when snow and/or ice are predicted, we drive the main bus routes before 4:30 am.  We check out  local road conditions with buses and student drivers in mind.  We also look at regional conditions that impact staff members traveling into University Place and monitor forecasts. Our goal is to make a decision by 5:15 a.m. whenever possible. Safety is our primary concern when making these decisions.

How are parents notified when school is delayed or canceled?  Information is sent to parents by telephone and email using our automated messenger system and posted to our website, Twitter, Facebook and  Flash Alert. To receive these messages, we encourage parents to:
➔Log into Family Access and make sure all contact information is up to date
➔Sign up for Flash Alert to get emergency alerts.
➔Follow us on Twitter (@upsd83) and Facebook (
➔Check email and make sure your phone is on when severe weather is in the forecast

What options will the district consider when weather conditions are severe?
Two-Hour Late Starts
allow staff additional time to get to school and prepare the grounds and facilities (i.e., deicing, clearing sidewalks, etc.).  Also, conditions and visibility often improve later in the morning.  There is no preschool or out-of-district transportation when schools are delayed.

Canceling School is necessary when the weather forecast and current conditions at 5:00 a.m. indicate that a late start is not possible.   School closure is usually a result of snow and/or ice, but it is also possible for other reasons (i.e., wind, power outages, etc.).

Closing School after it Starts.  We never want to send kids home early once they are at school and we will try hard to avoid this difficult scenario.  This decision would only be made in extreme circumstances where weather conditions deteriorate very quickly during the day.

How are school buses affected when it is snowing or icy?  
When road conditions on side streets are poor, we will run buses on “snow routes”. Snow routes are very different with new stops and different pick-up times. If your student rides a school bus make sure to take a look at snow route schedules. If you have questions, please call our transportation office at 566-5724.