School Lunch and Winter Weather

Summary: When our region experiences heavy rains or high winds, school meals may be moved indoors for student safety.

School Meal Services, Power Services, and Inclement Weather

Power/Internet Service Outages

Seattle Public Schools closely monitors weather conditions and will inform students, staff, and families of any updates impacting the school day as early as possible.

Due to the possibility of power/technology outages, bridge outages, damaged power lines and tree limbs, there may be school bus delays and changes to the lunch menu as a result. We also ask that you use caution when traveling to work or school. Please give yourself plenty of travel time.

When determining if school schedule changes are necessary, Seattle Public Schools officials carefully monitor forecasts and work with city and county officials on information related to weather and road conditions.

Stay Informed

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

  1. TV and Radio Stations: Checking the local television or radio stations is an effective and efficient way to find out if there is a schedule change.
    1. Local TV stations: TV KOMO 4, KING 5, KIRO 7, Q13 FOX
    2. Radio: KOMO AM 1000, KIRO 97.3 FM
  2. District Social Media: Facebook SeattlePublicSchools and Twitter @SeaPubSchools 
  3. District and School Websites: We post school schedule updates to the district and school websites.
  4. Phone calls, emails, or text messages: Families will receive a phone call, email, text message, however other communication channels may be faster to check.

School Lunch

All schools have developed lunch plans that provide a safe eating environment for students including the use of outdoor space when physically possible.  

When our region experiences heavy rains or high winds, school meals may be moved indoors for student safety.

School Meal Plans

In preparation for winter weather, all schools have an indoor lunch plan that meets or exceeds public health guidance. If needed, these plans will be activated. 

SPS can safely implement lunch plans that allow all students to eat inside with the use of effective mitigation strategies, such as:  

  • Supporting indoor air flow so that the air is changed or cleaned 4 to 6 times per hour  
  • Maximizing physical distancing by using all available large spaces (gyms, open common spaces, hallways, cafeterias, performing arts spaces) 
  • Increasing the number of lunch periods 

The school meal plans may look different across the district in order to follow health and safety protocols. Each school layout is unique, and so each has developed their own meal plan.

At lunchtime, students will be asked to: 

  • Wash their hands before and after eating.   
  • Limit time when their mask is off – only temporarily removing their mask when eating and drinking and then putting their mask back on.   
  • Use quiet, indoor voices and limit talking to times when their mask is on. 

If inclement weather results in a full building power outage the district may need to close the school to ensure we are meeting our standards for ventilation. 

You can learn more about indoor lunch strategies by visiting the district resource page.


Free Lunch for All Students 2021-22

During the 2021-22 school year, breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost for all students at all SPS schools.

All students, regardless of family income, will have access to nutritious meals at no cost throughout the 2021-22 school year thanks to a program provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Families who may qualify should continue to apply for free and reduced meals because they may be eligible for additional benefits such as reduced event or field trip fees or Advanced Placement test. Read more about the free and reduced meal application.

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