Closures & Delays

Overview

Emergencies and weather-related problems can alter school schedules and affect bus transportation for students. 
 
The district uses an automated message system to quickly send alerts to families.

In the event of a school or district emergency, the district will likely call (Morning calls will be made before 6 a.m., if possible.) and send text messages as well as emailing and sending an app notification.

The system only works if your contact numbers and emails are current in the student information system.

Please update your contact information annually with your child’s school. You may also download our mobile app. Instructions are available on our mobile app webpage Opens a New Window.

If no schedule change information is posted, schools and buses are on their regular schedules.

Weather Information

Find Out Immediately

Below are ways to find out if school will be delayed or closed:

Local radio and television stations provide school information on a continuing basis beginning around 6 a.m. Since conditions vary from one district to another, it is very important to listen for mention of Northshore School District #417.

Emergency Message System FlashAlert.net

Mobile App

Look under the News & Updates section of the District Homepage 

Northshore School District Information Line 425-408-6001

Your school's main number; when the voice mail service answers, press "9"

Snow & Ice Bulletin

The decision to close or delay schools is made by the superintendent as early as possible, usually around 5:30 a.m. Early dismissals will occur only if delay in dismissal significantly increases hazards. In the event an early dismissal is required, it is important that you have a plan for your student.

2 hours late, normal bus routes:

Buses start 2 hours late on normal routes
School starts 2 hours late with regular dismissal time
All partial programs cancelled
No Sorenson Early Childhood Center, Head Start or preschool/pre-k
No out-of-district transportation
No elementary band/orchestra, zero-period, or Career and Technical Education (CTE)

2 hours late, snow (limited or alternate) bus routes:

Buses start 2 hours late on snow routes. Visit the Transportation website Opens a New Window.  for to find snow routes.
School starts 2 hours late with regular dismissal time
All partial programs cancelled
No Sorenson Early Childhood Center, Head Start or preschool/pre-k
No out-of-district transportation
No elementary band/orchestra, zero-period, or Career and Technical Education (CTE)

On time, snow (limited or alternate) bus routes:

Buses start at normal time on snow (limited or alternate) routes. Visit the Transportation website Opens a New Window.  for to find snow routes.

Closed:

All district schools closed
No after-school/evening activities, athletics or band/orchestra

Snow (limited or alternate) route locations are available on the Transportation, or by contacting the Transportation Department, 425.408.7900. Changing conditions may cause the district to alter the status of school. Listen to radio and television for the latest information.

Decision Process for School Status Changes

Northshore staff follow a very complex process—one not undertaken lightly but always with the utmost concern for the safety of our students and staff.
 
NOAA weather forecasts are monitored the day before a storm is predicted and during the early morning hours.

The Winter Watch Committee is notified of the possibility of weather issues and prepares for road evaluations.

Dispatcher is notified around 3 a.m. by district staff who work the graveyard shift if weather affects road conditions.

Dispatcher notifies Winter Watch Committee members around 3 a.m. to begin road evaluations and report by 4:15 a.m.

Winter Watch Committee members drive around five sectors of the district checking on road and traffic conditions (downed tree limbs, electrical lines, or road hazards), walking conditions, driveway and parking lot conditions and whether buildings are functional (electricity, etc.) and report by 4:15 a.m.   

The five sectors are:
Arrowhead - Inglemoor - Norway Hill - Westhill
Kenmore - Frank Love - Shelton View
Fernwood - Turner's Corner - Kokanee - Woodin
Leota - Hollywood Hill - English Hill
Timbercrest - Dump Road - Mink Road

Committee members rate 8-12 key areas of their routes on a four-point scale:
1 - normal
2 - minimal hazards present
3 - moderate (difficult to negotiate)
4 - severe (very hazardous)

Around 4:15 a.m. a recommendation about school operations is made based on the weather forecast, current weather conditions, input from neighboring districts, and driving conditions

Around 4:15 a.m. the Executive Director of Support Services is notified of the conditions. The Executive Director consults with the Superintendent and makes a final decision.

Other considerations:
1. The ability of staff to get to school safely and on time.
2. Providing a consistent message for working parents who leave home before their children leave for school.
3. The weather forecast for later in the day.

Emergency/Inclement Weather Make-Up Days

If emergency/inclement weather school closures occur, make-up days will be added to the end of the school year.

Snow Transportation Routes

Weather conditions may affect bus routes in the district. If your home is located on a hill, then it is likely that your stop during inclement weather has been changed.
 
Your snow stop may be the same as your regular bus stop.
Your afternoon time will remain unchanged.
If Northshore school buses use snow routes/stops in the AM, they will also be used in the PM regardless of weather conditions.
Please dress your student accordingly for the weather. Even though we state that your stop will be 2 hours late, further delays may occur do to road conditions and traffic. Hat, gloves, coat and boots would be ideal in case they need to wait a little longer.
Northshore is a large district and covers over 60 miles, while conditions may seem normal in your neighborhood, it may be unsafe in others. All of this is taken into consideration when a decision is made to cancel, delay, go onto snow routes, or keep everything on normal schedule.
 
For a list of limited roads during inclement weather and the alternate stops, please see the chart below.
 
More information on snow bus routes can be obtained from the Transportation Department, 425-408-7900

Building Safety Status

Lockdown

A Lockdown should be reserved for the most serious situations. It would be used only for a possible major threat such as a weapon on or near campus.

In a true Lockdown, all students are brought indoors, classroom doors are locked, students may hide, staff may barricade doors and cover windows, and the normal education process stops.

If the school is placed in Lockdown, staff and students will hear: “Lockdown, Lockdown, we are now in Lockdown.” Staff will follow their training in locking doors and directing students.

Safe Inside

Safe Inside is a new designation in Northshore, created because schools previously were using the more serious term “Lockdown” for situations that did not require a full Lockdown -- situations where the educational process could have continued.

Safe Inside will be used for more common incidents such as wildlife near campus or police activity in the surrounding community.

In Safe Inside mode, all students are brought indoors and exterior building doors are locked, but the educational process and interior activity may continue.

If the school is placed in Safe Inside, staff and students will hear: “May I have your attention please? The building is now in Safe Inside mode. Once again, we are in Safe Inside mode.” Staff will follow their training in directing students.

Shelter-in-Place

Shelter-in-Place is a designation meant to address exterior atmospheric hazards, such as a gas leak in the neighborhood or ash from a nearby fire.

In Shelter-in-Place mode, all students are brought indoors; windows are closed, locked and possibly taped; fans are turned off; and towels may be placed under doors.

If the school is in Shelter-in-Place, staff and students will hear: “May I have your attention please? The building is now in Shelter-in-Place mode. Once again, we are in Shelter-in-Place mode.” Staff will follow their training in preparing the room and directing 

Evacuation

Evacuation is the designation used whenever it’s safer for students to be outside rather than inside, such as an interior gas leak or unstable building structure due to a natural disaster. Note that a fire is an exception. We have a separate protocol for fire.

In an Evacuation, students and staff leave the building following similar procedures they would use in a fire drill.

If the school is placed in Evacuation, staff and students will hear: “May I have your attention please? Evacuate the building. Once again, evacuate the building.” Staff will follow their training in directing students.

Updates

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