When weather conditions force changes to the district’s regular school schedule, we work hard to use a straightforward and predictable sequence of notifications. Thank you for reviewing the following information.
When the school district needs to get information to families, notification procedures are generally as follows:
- When morning alerts are necessary, updates are promptly posted to the school district website between 5:30am and 6:15am). Mid-day alerts are posted as soon as is possible.
- Local media outlets are notified (both radio and TV) as soon as possible.
- All parents/guardians and district staff receive a call (generally between 5:45am & 6:15am) via the district’s mass-notification system, SchoolMessenger. IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE SYSTEM CALLS THE PHONE YOU DESIRE, BE SURE TO UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION IN SKYWARD FAMILY ACCESS…CONTACT INFORMATION AND CONTACT PREFERENCES ARE PULLED DIRECTLY FROM OUR STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEM.
- In the event the District delays the start of school by two hours, buses will follow their normal routes but will pick kids up two hours later than normal. No breakfast services will be offered on late start days and AM preschool is canceled.
How Does the District Make Decisions Regarding Delays or Closures?
When evaluating the possibility of delaying the start of school or closing school altogether, our most important consideration is always safety – we want to make certain the buses that carry our students, as well as parents, students, and staff driving personal vehicles can get to schools on roads that are clear enough to allow safe arrival. Obviously, county road crews and law enforcement can be helpful with this determination, but there are a number of other factors that come into play:
- The timing of snow arrival: Will roads crews have time to deal with snow accumulations?
- Rural roads: While plows in the city of Deer Park may have made roads passable and safe, we also understand the fact that there are hundreds of miles of rural roads in the Deer Park School District.
- How quickly snow is falling: How much snow has fallen? How much snow is predicted?
- Temperature: We account for both current and forecasted temperatures.
- Conditions of school sidewalks and parking lots
With all of that said, the desire to ensure safety is coupled with two key considerations: We want students in school for instruction and we also understand there is significant inconvenience that working parents must manage when we impose school closures or delays the normal school schedule.
Often, the weather and road reality throughout the Deer Park School District is decidedly different than Spokane area schools. So, while we’re in close contact with many area districts as it pertains to delays and closures, our final decision is always based on the conditions and factors in our district.
Especially heavy snow accumulations or treacherously icy roads throughout Spokane and/or Stevens county can make for rather brief deliberations regarding closures. Unfortunately, most of the time decisions to delay or to close schools are not so easy and, be assured, they are never made in isolation. Please know that we’re always working hard to ensure our collaborative efforts allow us to make the best possible decision for the entire district.