Decision Process for School Status Changes

Northshore staff follow a very complex process—one not undertaken lightly but always with the utmost concern for the safety of our students and staff.

 NOAA weather forecasts are monitored the day before a storm is predicted and during the early morning hours.

  1. The Winter Watch Committee is notified of the possibility of weather issues and prepares for road evaluations.
  2. Dispatcher is notified around 3 a.m. by district staff who work the graveyard shift if weather affects road conditions.
  3. Dispatcher notifies Winter Watch Committee members around 3 a.m. to begin road evaluations and report by 4:15 a.m.
  4. Winter Watch Committee members drive around five sectors of the district checking on road and traffic conditions (downed tree limbs, electrical lines, or road hazards), walking conditions, driveway and parking lot conditions and whether buildings are functional (electricity, heat, etc.) and report by 4:15 a.m.  

    The five sectors are:
    Arrowhead - Inglemoor - Norway Hill - Westhill
    Kenmore - Frank Love - Shelton View
    Fernwood - Turner's Corner - Kokanee - Woodin
    Leota - Hollywood Hill - English Hill
    Timbercrest - Dump Road - Mink Road

  5. Committee members rate 8-12 key areas of their routes on a four-point scale:
    1 - normal
    2 - minimal hazards present
    3 - moderate (difficult to negotiate)
    4 - severe (very hazardous)

  6. Around 4:15 a.m. a recommendation about school operations is made based on the weather forecast, current weather conditions, input from neighboring districts and driving conditions.
  7. Around 4:15 a.m. the Chief Operations Officer is notified of the conditions, consults with the Superintendent. The Superintendent makes a final decision.

Other considerations:
1. The ability of staff to get to school safely and on time.
2. Providing a consistent message for working parents who leave home before their children leave for school.
3. The weather forecast for later in the day.