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    Adverse Weather Transportation Plan Frequently Asked Questions

     

    1. How do I find out if the District has closed schools because of snowfall?

    This information is available at the following website flashalert.net

    Local television stations, including the following, broadcast this information:

    king5.com
    komonews.com/
    kirotv.com/
    q13fox.com

    The following radio stations broadcast this information:

    AM Radio Stations

    KCIS 630
    KIXI 880
    KOMO 1000
    KGRG 1330
    KUOW 1340
    KRKO 1380

    FM Radio Stations

    KPLU 88.530
    KGRG 89.9
    KSER 90.7
    KMPS 94.1
    KUOW 94.9
    KIRO 97.3
    KCMS 105.3
    KRWM 106.9

    Please note that there may be up to a 30 minute delay for television and radio stations to broadcast this information once they receive it from the District. In addition, some television and radio stations may modify the message slightly before broadcasting it.


    2. How and when does the District make a decision about closing schools due to snowfall?

    If snow falls during non-school hours, Transportation staff monitor weather forecasts and survey road conditions throughout the night and during early morning hours. Weather and road conditions are assessed for safe bus travel and recommendations are made to the Assistant Superintendent of Operations, who then consults with the Superintendent.

    The Superintendent makes a final decision on school operations for that day by 5:00 a.m.  Any decision to delay or close schools is communicated via www.flashalert.net, television, radio, and District social media.

    The decision is made this early to allow parents enough time to plan their day.

    If snow occurs during the school day—or if a major snowfall alert is issued by the weather service during the school day, the District will evaluate the effect weather conditions have on safe transportation of students and may decide to:

    • Close schools early
    • Maintain normal operating hours
    • Delay bus departure time until traffic conditions improve

    The Superintendent will decide by 11 a.m. either to release school early or continue to operate school for a full day.


    3. What kinds of announcements does the District make?

    If adverse weather conditions are expected to impact normal operations, Seattle Public Schools makes the one of the following four announcements:

    a. Seattle Public Schools :  Schools open on time – buses operating on snow routes.
    No door-to-door service. No Preschool or Head Start.  No Out of District Service.
    No Taxi Cab, Therapy, Partial Day or Shuttle Transportation.  No Before or After
    School Activities. Check with your school regarding athletic events.

    b. Seattle Public Schools: Two hours late – buses operating on snow routes.
    No door-to-door service. No Preschool or Head Start.  No Out of District Service.
    No Taxi Cab, Therapy, Partial Day or Shuttle Transportation.  No Before or After
    School Activities. Check with your school regarding athletic events.

    c. Seattle Public Schools: Two hours late – buses operating on regular routes.
    No Preschool or Head Start.  No Out of District Service.
    No Taxi Cab, Therapy, Partial Day or Shuttle Transportation.  No Before or After
    School Activities. Check with your school regarding athletic events.

    d. Seattle Public Schools: Schools Closed.

    Reminder: Opt in Snow Route Bus Stops: Special service students assigned a snow route bus stop must be accompanied to their bus stop location for pick up, and received at that same bus stop location.


    4. If a snowfall occurs and schools stay open and operate on regular routes, will there be an announcement?

    No. An announcement will only be made when a change in normal operations has been approved.


    5. Does the District have snow routes for Special Services students?

    Yes, Families who opted in for special service snow routes receive a route notification letter indicating their bus stop location. Students must be accompanied by an adult to their snow route bus stop in the morning, and received by an adult at the same snow route bus stop after school.


    6. I've noticed that sometimes schools are closed throughout the District even though there’s no snow in downtown Seattle. Why is this?

    Although the downtown area may be clear, there may be ice and snow in outlying areas, side streets, and hills. The District must consider the safety of all students when making a decision about whether or not to close schools.


    7. I'm a parent or guardian and my student has assigned transportation. How do I find out where my child should catch the bus if the District is on snow routes?

    The District mails letters to parents/guardians or families identifying these routes during the month of November. Parents can also call 206-252-0900 to identify their snow route.


    8.What is a snow route and how is it determined? Why is it different than a regular route?

    The District, in collaboration with the City of Seattle, identifies centrally located streets and major arterials that will be cleared first in the event of a snowstorm. Snow routes use these streets and arterials to improve student safety.


    9. Does the District use robo-calls to notify parents and staff about possible school closures?

    Yes. The District automatically phones parents and staff about school closures, if the decision has been made the night before.


    10. Are there winter safety tips for students who are getting ready for school

    • Students should be dressed properly for the weather as transportation delays will occur.
    • Students should be brightly dressed and easy to see.
    • Items should be placed in a backpack or school bag, thus making hands free to be used for stability.

    Students should arrive at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the scheduled pickup up time.



    11. Are there winter safety tips for students who are walking to school or to their bus stop?

    • Allow extra time in the morning to get to the bus stop on time.
    • Wear bright clothing so the bus driver and other motorists can see you in the early morning and late evening.
    • Dress properly for the weather. Winter clothing, hats, mittens and boots will keep you warm.
    • 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.
    • Watch traffic while walking to your stop. Vehicles may lose control in the snow and ice and you need to be aware of your surroundings.
    • Ensure your balance by walking with hands out of pockets, free from unnecessary materials.
    • Young children should be walked to the bus stop; older children should walk in groups.
    • When crossing a street, look left, right and left. Walk across a street at corners, use crosswalks whenever possible. Do not run.
    • Be careful around cars parked along the street. Drivers coming down the street may not see you.
    • Listen for the sound of car motors, sirens, horns or emergency announcements before stepping into the street.

    12. Where can I find information about Metro/ORCA?

    Please see the Metro website at metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/snow for their snow routes.