Planning ahead for winter weather and our schools

A Message from the Department of Communications and Community Relations 

Dear Families, 

With the change of seasons, it’s time to plan ahead for winter weather and how it may affect our schools. 

This message will help you: 

  • update your contact information, 
  • find information on weather communications, and 
  • find your snow bus route if your child rides the bus.

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.

Please familiarize yourself with our weather procedures here. 

How can I get weather/emergency information? 

Any changes to the school schedule are usually announced by 6 a.m., and we use a variety of methods to keep families informed 

  • Alerts: To receive email and/or text alerts, set your communication preferences on the Skylert tab within Skyward Family Access(Need help? Go here for step-by-step directions or call 360-676-6520.) 
  • Tune in 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. 

What is a snow route and how can I find it? 

If your child rides the bus to school, please check bellinghamschools.org/snow-routes to find out your family’s snow bus route. If your students receive specialized transportation and may need to use an alternate inclement weather stop, you will be notified in a separate communication next week.  

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 our snow bus routes run on main, well-traveled roads to increase the likelihood that we can keep school open (and reduce the need for snow makeup 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 their snow route bus stop and help your children know where to go.  

If your child is in grades K-5, your Return Home Plan you set in place at the start of the school year also applies for a snow route. Please make arrangements to ensure the safety of your child at snow route stops. 

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

And a quick reminder regarding summer vacation plans:We ask that you avoid making vacation or summer plans during the week of June 15-19, 2020 or you may miss the final days of school and end-of-the-year activities. Currently, the last day of school is Thursday, June 11, 2020 with two make-up days built in for Friday, June 12 and Monday, June 15, according to our school calendar and teachers’ collective bargaining agreement. If additional make-up days are necessary, other options will be discussed. 

Wishing you a safe fall and winter!