Here’s how Spokane Public Schools decides to delay or cancel school due to weather

SPOKANE, Wash. — For many students, school is the safest place to be during extreme weather. It is a warm, supervised environment with access to food.

So far this winter, Spokane Public Schools has not had to cancel classes due to weather. But with several inches of snow expected Thursday, school leaders will likely be faced with a tough decision Wednesday night.

While Spokane Public Schools says it is always their goal to stay open during snowy weather, safety comes first.

When deciding when to delay or cancel school, SPS said district leaders make a plan the night before an anticipated weather event with the help of the weather alert team. The team is made up of district leaders and Durham Services supervisors.

If the forecast calls for more than two inches of snow, plows are dispatched around 11 p.m.

SPS said it takes 11 crews about eight hours to plow the entire district.

But when snow starts falling in the early morning hours, it may not be possible for the entire plow route to be completed in time.

At that point, a two-hour delay or other schedule adjustments might be used.

Making that call is a team effort.

At 3 a.m., Durham supervisors start driving school routes on the north and south sides of Spokane. They will report their recommendations back to district leadership.

By 5 a.m., the superintendent and communications director make a final decision, taking into account not only the conditions of the roads, but also the walking routes to school and what the rest of the forecast looks like.

By 6 a.m., parents will get a phone call about the delay or closure.

More information about the school district’s snow plan can be found here.

Click HERE to see if your school district is delaying or canceling classes. 

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