Weather Information and Preparation

A Message from the Department of Communications and Community Relations

Dear Families,

The winter weather has come early this year. This message contains important information for families to sign up for early AM email and text weather notifications, and new snow bus route information. Please read this carefully and check your new snow routes today, in case we have snow or winter conditions in the morning. 

Depending on conditions (which could include snow, flooding, power outages, etc.), school could:

  • close for the day
  • open two hours late with regular bus routes or snow bus routes
  • open on time with snow bus routes.

As we prepare for colder weather and the possibility of snow days, we have made some adjustments to our snow bus routes. Thank you to the families at the schools that are most affected who provided input during the past couple weeks when we first proposed these adjustments.

A snow bus route (or snow route) is a modified bus route that generally runs on main roads rather than side streets or through neighborhoods. If snow routes are in effect, students must catch their bus at alternate stops. We have found that bus ridership is low on snow route days, so new this year, we are refining snow bus stops to main, well-traveled routes to increase the likelihood that we can safely keep school open (and reduce the need for snow make-up days). 

During a weather event, please review Bellingham Public Schools weather communications carefully to determine if snow bus routes are in effect for the morning only or for the morning and afternoon routes. It is the responsibility of families to know if they live on a snow route. Go to bellinghamschools.org/snow-routes to find a complete list of snow bus routes, times and stops. Families of young children are reminded of the Return Home Plan communicated with them at the start of the school year. The same information and plan applies for a snow route. Please make arrangements to ensure the safety of your child at snow route stops.

How can I get weather/emergency information?

Bellingham Public Schools uses a variety of methods to keep you informed:

  • An email alert will automatically come to you if you have an email address in SchoolMessenger or Skyward (via Skylert tab; go here for step-by-step directions). For an early a.m. text, please check your notification preferences in Skyward or contact 360-676-6520. You may select a phone call “early a.m.” option, but we do not plan to use the call feature for this school year to increase the speed of our communications.
  • Tune to local media: 790 AM, 96.5 FM, 104.1 FM or Seattle media.
  • Check bellinghamschools.org 
  • Check @BhamSD on Twitter or @bellinghamschools on Facebook
  • Call 360-676-6400 for a recorded message
  • Call 360-647-6815 for a message translated in Español, русский, tính từ and Punjabi.

Please familiarize yourself with our weather procedures at bellinghamschools.org/weather. Changes to the school schedule are usually announced by 6 a.m.

Lastly, we encourage you to be prepared at home. Sites such as takewinterbystorm.org and The Red Cross provide valuable preparedness tips.

Wishing you a safe fall and winter!

And a quick reminder regarding summer vacation plans: Please remember to avoid making vacation or summer plans during the week of June 18-22, 2018 or you may miss the final days of school and/or end-of-the-year activities. Currently, the last day of school is Thursday, June 14 with two make-up days built in for Friday, June 15 and Monday, June 18, according to our school calendar and teachers’ collective bargaining agreement. If additional make-up days are necessary, other options will be discussed, including extending school into the week of June 18-22.