Emergency Weather Information
When snow or inclement weather is in the forecast, we have a plan in place to assess and monitor weather and road conditions overnight and in the early morning hours. We monitor weather forecasts to make decisions about inclement weather conditions and when possible, we will make an early decision by 7:00 p.m. for the next morning. Decisions may be delayed until the morning due to changing conditions. Please review the operating protocols for a 2.5-hour late start and school closures.
What does a 2.5 hour late start mean?
- All schools will begin 2.5 hours later than normal.
- CES - 11:35 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.
- McM - 10:30 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.
- VHS - 10:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
- Bus pick-up schedules will also be 2.5 hours later than normal.
- Buses will use regularly scheduled stops unless the message specifies any changes to bus routes.
- All BEFORE-SCHOOL activities, athletics and extracurricular events are canceled.
- Each individual school will determine if AFTER-SCHOOL activities, athletics, or extra-curricular activities will be canceled.
- School will dismiss at the normal time.
What does a school closure mean?
- All schools will be closed for that day only.
- All scheduled after school and evening activities, athletics and extra-curricular events are cancelled. This includes all practices, mandatory or volunteer, any contests, games, matches, meets, events, facility rentals, etc.
- The District Administration Building will be closed, unless otherwise announced.
How do we notify families of late start or school closures?
- School Messenger Email
- School Messenger Text. Families with accurate cell phone numbers (including area code) in Skyward will receive notifications via text.
- FlashAlert email and mobile app push notifications. FlashAlert is the platform School Districts use to communicate school information to local TV and radio stations. You can sign up to receive a FlashAlert email. You can also download the FlashAlert mobile app on iOS or Android and enable the app to send you push notifications on school closures.
- District social media platforms Facebook | Instagram
- TV and radio stations provide school closure info via FlashAlert.
- The most current information about school operations will always be posted on the Vashon Island School District website. Some radio and TV stations broadcast information regarding the operation of school during emergency conditions, including inclement weather.
How We Make the Decision – Safety of Students and Staff is our Top Priority
While we do our best to make decisions to keep all students safe, conditions may vary throughout the District and change quickly. Please take into consideration your personal situation and make the appropriate decision to keep you and your student safe.
- Conditions can change quickly. We may start with a 2.5 hour delay to see if weather improves enough before calling a school closure.
- District transportation staff and administrators check the roads throughout the island starting at 5:00 a.m. to determine whether it is safe to operate our buses. We also check the conditions, including sidewalks, at our schools. Conditions vary widely from area to area on the island and can change considerably as the morning progresses.
- Administrators review hourly weather forecasts to assess whether conditions are improving or deteriorating.
- The decision to make a change will be communicated before 6:00 a.m..
- Once the buses are out on their routes in the morning it is generally too late to communicate a change of start times or bus routes in a safe or effective way.
- Our preference is always to have schools open and students learning. However, safety is the top priority. We make the best decision we can based on the conditions at the time we must communicate to staff and families.
The final decision on whether or not to send your child to school is yours. If you ever disagree with our decision regarding school delays or closures, please know that it is considered an excused absence if you decide to keep your child home from school. Please inform your school via an email to your attendance line, call the school office, or provide a signed note the day your student returns to school.