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Remote Learning on Snow Days

Summary: In case of inclement weather on January 3 all students should bring home an SPS device and charger before winter break begins.

Planning for Remote Learning on Snow Days

This fall, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Seattle Education Association (SEA) worked together to create a remote instruction plan for potential snow days.  

Because of the delayed start of the school year, the last day of school is June 30 with July 3, 5, and 6 as the three make-up days for potential snow.  

SPS and SEA are responding to family and staff requests to avoid extending the 2022-23 school year into July if we have inclement weather (snow or ice). 

Student and staff safety is a priority when making decisions related to inclement weather. SPS monitors weather forecasts and road conditions to determine if school changes are necessary. If snow or ice in the Seattle area affects road conditions, our schools may have schedule changes. 

If weather conditions lead to schedule changes, we have two possible scenarios – two-hour late start with in-person learning or school buildings closed with students at home engaged in remote learning. Read more about two-hour late start.

Remote Learning Plan

Remote learning plan when school buildings are closed due to inclement weather 

We cannot predict or control the weather, but we can maximize our response to it. Technology provides a way to engage with students even when winter weather makes it unsafe to go to school buildings.    

Families will receive communication from the district if we have a two-hour delay or are switching to remote learning. Families will also receive communication from your student’s school with more information about how the school day will look if we have a remote learning day. 

On the first day of remote instruction due to weather, there will be a two-hour delayed start. This late start will ensure staff and students are ready to begin learning. If there are consecutive days of inclement weather, the following days will begin at the standard start time. 

For more information, read the inclement weather remote instruction frequently asked questions.

What if there is a power outage?   

If an entire school community is impacted by a power outage, the district may call an emergency closure of an individual school. 

Do schools need to provide chargers with student devices? 

Your student should have a charger along with their SPS device. It is important to keep track of the charger as it will not be replaced if lost.

Will meals be served at SPS sites? 

Because road conditions are generally considered unsafe during inclement weather, meals will not be served in buildings during weather-related closures. 

Schools are encouraged to consider ways to support students in advance of inclement weather when possible. This support may look similar to supports provided to families during extended breaks such as winter break. 

Can schools use Zoom during remote instruction? 

SPS uses Microsoft Teams as its video platform. Only schools that previously had exemptions through DoTS may use zoom during remote instruction. 

Will schools have extra internet hotspots onsite for students?

Student access to internet is important regardless of inclement weather.  Families in need of internet access at home should apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

What will the school day schedule look like?

The school will follow the same schedule as on a typical full-length school day. On the first day of remote instruction due to weather, however, there will be a two-hour late start in order to ensure that staff and students are ready to begin learning. After that, the regular school schedule will be followed.

SPS Student Devices  

Every student has access to an SPS device (laptop for older students or iPads for younger grades). Families in need of internet access at home should apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

For our elementary students who may not be bringing SPS devices to and from school on a regular basis, staff is preparing student devices to be sent home over winter break.  

In case of inclement weather on January 3 — our first day back from winter break — all students should bring home an SPS device and charger before winter break begins. If you have questions about your student’s SPS device, please contact your student’s teacher or the school office. 

View upcoming 2022-23 school year dates.

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Weather Alert Reminders

If weather conditions make a schedule change necessary, the district will communicate the decision in several ways.