Winter weather conditions can be difficult to predict, but there are a few steps you can take to prepare for possible school closures or delays.
- Make sure your contact information is up to date so the school staff can reach you if necessary.
- Know how to receive school closure information and where to find it.
- Have a backup plan for work and/or child care if schools are closed, delayed or released early.
What you need to know when the storm hits (or threatens to)
The decision to close schools or delay opening them is not taken lightly. The safety of students and staff is a top priority.
When winter weather hits, a transportation crew begins driving in different areas of the school district at 3 a.m.
With advice from the transportation crew and a meteorologist, the superintendent will make a decision regarding the operation of our schools. If possible, this decision will be made by 5 a.m. If a two-hour late start was declared the prior evening, we will attempt to make the decision by 7 a.m.
If it is decided to close schools, delay opening them or release students early, that information will be immediately shared via one or more of the methods listed below. This information will be posted only if there is a schedule change to report.
If it is decided to continue with a regular school day, then no information will be reported, and parents and staff will know that schools are operating on regular schedules.
If schools are closed or dismissed early, after-school and evening activities also will be canceled. Community use of schools will be canceled only if schools are closed.
In the event of an early release, families will be notified by phone call and/or email. Elementary students who ride the bus or walk will not be released until verbal confirmation about arrangements has been made with families.
There are several ways to get school closure information
- Go to the VPS homepage at www.vansd.org
- Go to FlashAlert at http://flashalert.net/news.html?id=393 (from this link, anyone can subscribe to receive FlashAlert notifications via email)
- Download the free Vancouver Public Schools mobile app to your smartphone or tablet, http://www.vansd.org/mobileapp.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our school closure posts: www.facebook.com/VancouverPublicSchools and @VancouverSD.
- Call the district’s Snow/Closure Info line at 360-313-1401 or General Information at 360-313-1000.
- Check radio, television and newspaper websites.
- Automated phone calls will be made to families if schools are closed early during the school day, or if the decision to close is made the night before.
Snow bus routes
Snow bus routes have been developed for some school buses that serve the schools listed below. These alternate routes will be used when icy or snowy conditions exist on some of the school district’s most difficult roads. Snow routes will be used for morning and afternoon routes. Snow bus routes are safer during bad weather conditions. The snow routes are posted at vansd.org/snow-routes.
When snow bus routes are announced, there will be no service to some bus stops. Alternate bus stops will be used.
We encourage students to ride school buses to and from school during adverse weather conditions. School buses are a safe and reliable form of transportation.
Elementary schools: Anderson, Chinook, Felida, Sacajawea and Salmon Creek
Middle schools: Alki, Gaiser, iTech Prep, Jefferson and VSAA
High schools: Columbia River, iTech Prep, Skyview, Vancouver Flex Academy and VSAA
School closure makeup days
Because full-day school closures must be made up by students and school staff, four make-up days are built into the school calendar. This year, the four designated make-up days—Jan. 25 and June 14, 17 and 18—will be used to make up four days missed due to the delayed start of school. Any school closures this winter will be made up after June 18.