2023-24: planning for winter weather and our schools

A Message from the Department of Communications and Community Relations

It’s time to plan ahead for winter weather andhow it may affectour schools.

This message serves as a reminder to:

  • check that your contact information is accurate in Skyward (check Skyward Family Access or with your school office if you are not sure),
  • find information on weather communications, and
  • find your snow bus route if your child rides the bus.

Depending on conditions (which could include snow, flooding, power outages, etc.), school could:

  • close for the day,
  • open two hours late with regular bus routes or snow bus routes,
  • open on time with snow bus routes.

Please familiarize yourself withourweather procedures here.

How can I get weather/emergency information?

Any changes to the school schedule are usually announced before 6 a.m., and we usea variety of methods to keepfamiliesinformed:

  • Alerts: To receive email and/or text alerts you need an email address and cell phone number in Skyward. We send updates through our notification tool, ParentSquare, which receives phone and email contact information data from Skyward, our student information system.
  • Tune in tolocal media:790 AM, 96.5 FM, 104.1 FMthe ¥Herald, Cascade Daily News or Seattle media.
  • Check bellinghamschools.ǰ
  • 𳦰on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Facebookand on Instagram
  • Call360-676-6400for a recorded message.
  • Call 360-647-6815 for a message translated inEspañol, русский, tính từ and Punjabi.

What is a snow bus route and how can I find it?

If your child rides the bus to school, please checkbellinghamschools.org/snow-routesto find out your family’s snow bus route.If your students receive specialized transportation and may need to use an alternate inclement weather stop, you will be notified in a separate communication next week.

A snow bus route (or snow route) is a modified bus route that generally runs on main roads rather than side streets or through neighborhoods. If snow routes are in effect, students must catch their bus at alternate stops.We have found that bus ridership is low on snow route days, sooursnowbusroutesrun onmain, well-traveledroadsto increase the likelihood that we cankeepschoolopen (and reduce the need for snowmake–up days).

During a weather event, please review¥Public Schoolsweather communicationscarefully to determine if snowbusroutes are in effect for the morning only or for the morning and afternoon routes. It is the responsibility of families to knowtheirsnow routebus stop and help your children know where to go.

If your child is in grades PreK-5,yourReturn Home Planyou set in placeat the start of the school yearalsoapplies for a snow route. Pleasemake arrangementsto ensure the safety of your child at snow route stops.

Lastly, we encourage you to be prepared at home. Sites such as  aԻ  provide valuable preparedness tips.

Wishing you a safe fall and winter!