Getting the news about bad weather
How we make the call
Oct. 27, 2014
During a winter weather event, the decisions we make to delay or close schools are based on how safe it is to ride a bus, drive, bike or walk to school.
How we make a decision:
We rely on local and national weather services to alert us to an incoming storm and evaluate conditions in consultation with the City of Portland and other school districts. When we anticipate an approaching storm, we have transportation staff out evaluating road conditions as early as 4 a.m.
We try to make decisions that reflect the varying topography and weather conditions across our community. But you know the condition in your local neighborhood better than anyone else. If you feel it’s unsafe to drive, walk or bike to school, please keep your student home.
We also take into account that weather conditions can change – sometimes getting better. We try to balance a conservative, safety-first approach with our responsibility for having students in school learning.
We provide notice about weather-related closures as far in advance as possible – the day before, if we can, or else early in the morning.
Types of weather calls:
Two-hour late opening – Schools begin – and buses pick up students - two hours later than usual. There is no half-day kindergarten or morning childcare.
Buses on snow routes – Students report to their snow route bus stop in the morning and are dropped off at the same stop in the afternoon.
Schools and offices closed – Students stay home; activities are cancelled.
Early dismissal – K-8 students are not released until parent contact is made.
Each year in March, we evaluate how many instructional days were lost due to weather/other events and determine if makeup days in June will be added.
We recognize that weather-related school decisions can cause anxiety and inconvenience. We appreciate your patience and flexibility and want you to know that our first goal, as always, is to keep children safe.
Chief Operating Officer
You can get PPS weather-related delay and closure information in several places:
- New: Text @portlandschools to 23559 to receive Celly text messages.
- Rapid Broadcast phone calls in all supported languages to the PRIMARY number listed on your student’s registration paperwork. Report phone number changes to your school office.
- On the PPS home page, PPS Inside and all school websites.
- Like us on the PPS Facebook page for school, district and emergency news.
- Follow us on Twitter @PPSConnect for school, district and emergency news.
- Local TV, radio and web news.
- Flash Alert: If you have Flash Alert account, we will continue using it for 2014-15 but will not be adding new subscribers as we are phasing out use of this tool.
PPS decision-making process
Go to the Student Transportation webpage to learn more. View Snow Routes & Schedules for Buses. Remember to add two hours to the bus times in the event of a two-hour late start. When buses are on snow routes, this applies to morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off.
Remember that families have the right to decide to keep their children home from school if they feel travel conditions are unsafe. Please call the school to let them know.