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    Winter Weather Notification Information
    Posted on 01/06/2019
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    From time to time, winter weather may change the normal schedule at your student's school. 

    As winter approaches, now is a good time to review how you will receive urgent weather information from Seattle Public Schools and how to manage your communication preferences.


    Staying Informed

    If weather conditions make a schedule change necessary, the district will communicate the decision through the following methods and in this order:

    • Local media: Checking the local television or radio stations is an effective and efficient way to find out if there is a schedule change.
      Local stations include: 
      TV KOMO 4, KING 5, KIRO 7, Q13 FOX
      Radio KOMO AM 1000, KIRO 97.3 FM
    • Facebook and Twitter: In addition to local media, social media is a fast way to learn about a delay or closure. Follow us on and
    • District and school websites: We post school schedule updates to the district and school websites.
    • Phone calls and emails: Families will receive a phone call and email, however other communication methods may be faster.

    Managing Phone Calls and Communications Preferences

    It is important to keep up-to-date contact information on record with your student's school.

    When there is an emergency school schedule change, the phone number listed as an emergency contact is called. While you need at least one emergency phone on record, you can manage your communication preferences and designate which phone is called. 

    Directions on how to manage your preferences, in multiple languages, can be found on our Communications Preferences webpage.

    As defined by our collective bargaining agreement, we have three snow makeup days: Jan. 30, June 21 and June 24. Because makeup days are negotiated with our labor partner, Seattle Education Association, we need to follow the contract as well as ensure students have 180 contact days in school. Please be aware of these dates when making vacation and family plans. 

    View the School Year Calendar Dates including snow make-up dates.

    Weather Impacts on Transportation and School Schedules

    Weather conditions may require the district to put buses on snow routes.

    When buses run on snow routes, whether schools open on time or are delayed, the following classes and services are cancelled:

    • No preschool or Head Start classes
    • No door-to-door service
    • No out-of-district service
    • No taxi cabs
    • No partial day or midday (e.g. XIP, therapy, etc.) shuttle transportation
    • No field trips
    • No before or after school activities
    • Check with your school about athletic activities

    Snow routes ensure the yellow buses operated by First Student travel on roads that receive snow removal by the Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT). The stop location and time differs from normal bus assignment. Snow routes are customized each year and mailed to families in mid-November.

    If families need more information about snow routes, they can ask the school office staff or contact the district’s Transportation department. Visit the SDOT Winter Response webpage for information about the city streets that SDOT clears and to review the 2018-19 Winter Weather Brochure and Snow Route Map.

    Early Dismissal

    Students will be delivered to their regular bus stops. The district will notify parents/guardians of early release using automated calls to the emergency phone number provided to the school. There will be no after-school activities. However, check with your school directly about athletic events.

    School Canceled

    • Students should not report to school
    • No preschool or Head Start classes

    Child Care Providers

    For questions regarding child care, please check directly with your provider regarding their services. You can find a directory of many of the school-based and near by child care providers that serve Seattle Public Schools on our Child Care Providers webpage.

    To learn more, visit the district’s transportation webpage.

    Students who Take Metro Bus Service

    For those students who use King County's Metro bus service for school transportation, please visit the Metro online guide for their emergency ice and snow schedule.

    Preparing for Inclement Weather

    Seattle is unique in that snow may accumulate in one area and not in other areas. Circumstances across the entire city are carefully considered when deciding impact on school operations. Weather forecasts and conditions change, and the district must make a decision that applies to all schools. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we evaluate all these factors.

    Each family should have an inclement weather plan that can be put into action on short notice. Identify an alternate place for your child to stay if you must be at work on a day when school has been delayed or canceled.

    Please ensure that a neighbor, family member or center is able to care for or receive students.

    Winter Safety Tips for Students Walking to School or Bus Stop

    Students should allow extra time to get to their school or bus stop in the morning. Arrival at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the scheduled pickup time is recommended.

    Bright clothing will make students more visible for bus drivers and other motorists, especially in the early morning and late evening. Warm clothing is also recommended as transportation delays may occur.

    Please walk with young children to their school or bus stop; older children should walk in groups. The location of a student's bus stop may be different from their normal stop location if the district is operating on snow routes.

    Pedestrian travel should be done on sidewalks or a safe walking path.

    • When there is no sidewalk and you have to walk on the road, be sure to walk facing traffic.
    • Walk across a street at corners, using crosswalks whenever possible.
    • When crossing a street, look left, right and left.
    • Listen for the sound of car motors, sirens, horns or emergency announcements before stepping into the street.