Gearing up for winter weather (FAQs)

snowman and kids

With subfreezing temperatures in the forecast, we’d like to take a moment to answer some of your most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about inclement weather procedures at Hockinson School District.

How does the District decide whether to close schools (or late start/early dismissal) as a result of inclement weather?

Closing school or changing start/end times is not a decision we take lightly. Ultimately, it is based on the condition of area roads and/or weather conditions and prediction models that put the safety of our students, teachers, staff and bus drivers into question.

Who makes the decision to close or delay school due to inclement weather?

The Superintendent is responsible for making the final decision, based on recommendations from Cascade Student Transportation, our contracted bus service provider. Recommendations are based on up-to-the-minute weather models and road conditions (transportation officials will survey roads beginning at 3 a.m. if inclement weather is in the forecast).

When will I know if school is closed or delayed?

We understand that schedule changes represent major inconveniences for families. The District will make every effort to inform parents about closures and delays no later than 6 a.m. That said, weather is unpredictable and conditions may force us to make decisions after that time.

How can I get the latest information on school closings or schedule changes?

Hockinson School District will place calls and send emails to families through our automated notification system. Additional announcements are made by local media via FlashAlert News, the District's homepage (as well as individual school pages) and our social media pages.

You can make sure you are informed by updating your contact information with the District’s Family Access (Skyward) system and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

What does a late start entail?

In the event of a late start, school will begin two hours later than the regular starting time, and there will be no before-school activities or buses to Cascadia Technical Academy (for HHS students). A.M. buses will run on a two-hour delay as well. If snow routes are in effect, pick-up will occur two hours from your designated snow route time.

What changes occur if there’s an early dismissal? Will my student receive transportation services?

Yes. Bus service will be available as long as students can be safely transported home. If buses are unable to travel, students will be kept at school to wait for their parents or to make other transportation arrangements.

In the event of an early dismissal, there is no afternoon preschool and all after-school activities are canceled.

What does it mean if snow routes are in effect?

A snow bus route (or snow route) is a modified bus route that generally sticks to well-trafficked roads and bypasses side streets. If snow routes are in effect, students must catch their bus at alternate stops. Information about snow routes is available via our Busing Information page.

If the District announces snow routes in the morning, do they remain in effect for the afternoon?

Yes. If the District is operating on snow routes in the morning, buses will remain on snow routes in the afternoon to eliminate confusion about pick-up locations. Parents who have to drive their children to school in the morning will need to pick them up in the afternoon.

I’ve noticed that snow routes or closures/delays have been announced when there’s no ice or snow in my neighborhood. Why is that?

We do sympathize with this frustration. Because the District covers a large, geographically diverse area, road conditions can vary greatly from one neighborhood to another. Even opposite ends of the same street can present different challenges in the presence of ice and snow. Please know that when making decisions, we must carefully consider the safety and well-being of all students.

Can I keep my child home during inclement weather even if school has not been closed or delayed?

Parents always have the option to keep a student home if they believe it is unsafe to navigate the roads around Hockinson. Please notify your child’s school of your decision.

If school is closed for one or more days, how will the District make up for missed educational time?

For the 2019-2020 school year, the District's inclement weather make-up days (in priority order) are as follows: Friday, Feb. 14; Thursday, June 11; Friday, June 12. 

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