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Weather Delays and Cancellations
Weather Delays and Cancellations
Doug Johnson
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Making changes to our normal operating hours is a decision we take seriously. There are many moving parts to consider including road conditions (city, county, and highway), weather forecast, time of day, ability to clear snow from school sidewalks/parking lots, bus driver availability, and more.  Safe travel conditions for everyone is our priority. There are times when in spite of all the information gathered the conditions may get worse or better causing many to question our actions.  Weather conditions can be quite different depending on your location within our district boundaries and forecasts are not always correct. Time is also a factor, with some decisions needed before bus drivers leave for morning routes for example. Whenever possible we attempt to give as much advance notice as possible in order to allow everyone to plan accordingly. Some country bus routes require roads to be plowed by county or state equipment before it is safe to travel. Thanks to the equipment and dedication of our own maintenance team, transportation staff, city, county and state employees running on a normal schedule is usually possible and safe.

We encourage families to have alternate plans in place should the district make changes in our operating schedule. Changes will be announced using the District website and app for smart devices. Anyone can download the free app.  We encourage use of the app because the information comes directly form the district. The app can be found for both android and Apple devices. Look for Dayton Schools WA at the appropriate app store. The FlashAlert system sends emails to registered addresses as well as radio/tv. If you do not already subscribe, you can find the Flash Alert system using this link if you do not already subscribe

https://www.flashalert.net/regions/columbia-tri-cities-yakima-pendleton/

Schools must make up “days” lost by weather cancellation. Should an extreme number of days be lost there is an opportunity to request an emergency attendance waiver through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Typically, most districts build one or possibly two days into their regular calendar for “snow make-up.”  Additional days would extend classes beyond the normal closing date on their calendar. If a school day is shortened (for example 2-hour delay) or released early, it is not likely the hours would need to be made up.

In addition to normal school day decisions, school districts must also consider after school activities and evening meetings. Athletic team practices, contests, club contests, and evening meetings all include travelling after hours – many times in the dark. While rescheduling can be problematic, it is far safer to reschedule than to travel in unsafe conditions.