What You Need to Know About School Closures & Delays
The winter season is here and bad winter weather could delay or cancel our school day. We will only alter the regular school schedule when it is necessary to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. We also consider how subfreezing temperatures will affect students walking or waiting for buses and whether snow, ice, or freezing fog will be an issue for motorists.
Many factors are taken into careful consideration when making the decision. District Transportation officials are in close contact with the City of Pasco and Franklin County road crews to get updates on road conditions and snow removal progress. We also monitor National Weather Service forecasts to determine if conditions are expected to improve or worsen throughout the day.
Here is a look at the District’s process on a bad weather day:
- At 3 a.m., District officials drive bus routes which include city streets, highways, and rural roads. They also contact City and County road crews at this time.
- At 4:30 a.m., Superintendent Michelle Whitney is briefed by District officials with the latest information on road conditions, weather forecasts and traffic conditions. She also consults with neighboring school district superintendents.
- By 5 a.m. a decision is made to proceed as usual or to delay or cancel school.
If there is a cancellation or delay, you can find that information in the following places:
- District Website - Check www.psd1.org
- PSD smartphone app - To download the app, visit iTunes or the Google Play Store
- PSD Facebook and Twitter
- Text Message and Email Notifications - To register, click here.
- Media - Watch and listen to local TV and radio stations
Every effort is made to announce closures or delays by 5:30 a.m. If conditions change after the decision is made to delay school, it is possible that the district may cancel school. We will try to make a final decision by 7:30 a.m., or shortly thereafter. If a change is made, an updated alert will be sent out as soon as possible.
If there is no mention on the district website of delays or closures, schools are running on time.
Road conditions in the district can vary depending on where you live. The District supports a parent’s or guardian’s decision to pick their child up early or to not send their child to school. Absences will be considered excused via the regular protocols.
If Pasco Schools are on a 2-Hour Delay
- School buses will run on a 2-hour delay as specified.
- Breakfast is canceled.
- AM Preschool and ECEAP classes are canceled.
- AM Tri-Tech Skills Center classes are canceled.
- High School zero-hour classes are canceled.
- AM sports practices are canceled.
- Daytime classes at the Parent Education Center are canceled.
To provide more opportunities for the District to hold school, a 3-hour delay option has been added as a possible alternative. The 3-hour delay will only be considered if the District has missed a significant number of school days already.
Athletics, After-School Activities and Other School Events
If school is closed, all out-of-district transportation, meetings, field trips, after-school activities, practices, and games will be canceled for the day unless otherwise announced. All evening meetings and events scheduled to take place in district facilities will also be canceled.
Releasing Students Early on Snow Days
We do not send children home early in the event of snow or ice. This would be extremely difficult due to the challenge of notifying all parents/guardians and ensuring there is an adult at home or elsewhere to supervise children. A parent or guardian may pick their child up early if they choose and provide a notification to the office.
Although the District does not make up delayed starts, we are required to make up any cancelled days. If necessary, “snow make-up” days are scheduled for June 14-17.
Cold Weather and Outdoor Recess
The District’s policy on recess in cold weather follows the Child Care Weather Watch guidelines that were produced with assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The information shared in the staff handbooks at the schools states that if the temperature outside is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, then students will have recess indoors. Wind chill plays a factor in that as well. If temperatures are slightly above 20 degrees, but there is some wind, it’s likely that the schools will err on the side of caution and student safety, and keep the students inside for recess.
These guidelines also apply during the time before the start of the school day. If outside temperatures are 20 degrees or below, students will be allowed to enter the school as soon as they arrive in the morning.