Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,
As we head into winter conditions, we want to remind you about the procedures we have in place regarding “School Closures, Delays, and Emergency Bus Routes.”
Depending on the conditions, possible changes to the regular school schedule might include:
- MVSD schools closed for the day
- MVSD schools operating on a two-hour delayed start schedule
- MVSD schools operating on a two-hour delayed start schedule with emergency bus routes* in effect
- MVSD buses operating on time with emergency bus routes* in effect
*Emergency Bus Route information can be found on our School Closures, Delays and Emergency Routes page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What would cause a school closure?
A: The MVSD will close its schools when it is determined that the conditions (weather, fire, smoke, flooding, prolonged power outage, etc.) are unsafe for normal school operations.
Q: When schools are closed for the day, what does that mean for before and after-school activities?
A: When schools are closed for the day, all before and after-school activities, athletic practices and events, and the Head Start Preschool program are cancelled.
Q: How often does the Methow Valley close its schools due to adverse weather conditions, power outages, or otherwise?
A: Seldom. Recognizing the closure of our schools creates a significant disruption in the lives of the families and community we serve, the MVSD takes the decision to close its schools seriously.
Q: If school is closed, will students be required to make up the day?
A: Yes. If school is closed for the day, the missed school day will be added to the end of the school calendar.
Q: What would cause a two-hour delayed start?
A: Typically weather-related, the MVSD will initiate a two-hour delayed start to the school day when the conditions require additional time to ensure the safe operations of the school district, allowing bus drivers, parents, and our student-drivers the additional time necessary to safely travel to school.
Q: How are programs impacted when operating on a two-hour delayed start?
A: When operating on a two-hour delayed start, bus drivers will begin picking up students two hours later than the normal scheduled time. This means if your student regularly catches their bus at 7:30 a.m., they would catch the bus at 9:30 a.m.
Q: How does a two-hour delayed start to the school day impact the rest of the school day and after-school programs?
A: School will let out at the regular time and the afternoon routes will operate on their normal schedule.
Q: How does a two-hour delayed start impact the Head Start Preschool program?
A: In the event of a delayed start to the school day, the Head Start Preschool program will operate on a two-hour delayed schedule as well.
Q: What is an emergency bus route?
A: Several routes may be impacted by adverse conditions making it unsafe for the bus to travel on certain roads. Riders on affected routes will meet the bus at their designated emergency stop. (Visit our School Closures, Delays and Emergency Routes page for details.)
Q: What if conditions change or an event takes place during the school day? Will you close schools early?
A: With the exception of extreme weather conditions or an event (e.g. fire, prolonged power outage) making it unsafe to remain in the school building(s), we make every effort to avoid closing our schools early. If it is determined that we need to close school early, we would use the lines of communication listed below to notify families of these changes.
Q: How does the MVSD make decisions about changes to the regular school day?
A: It’s not a perfect science given the many variables, but it begins and ends with one constant – the safety of our students, staff, parents, and community members. Working in consultation with the WA DOH and county road crews, the MVSD assesses and evaluates each event using multiple sources of information (weather forecasts, current and predicted road conditions, possible power outages, air quality measures, etc.) in support of its effort to make an informed decision.
Q: What if the MVSD is operating on-time or on a delayed schedule, but I believe the conditions where I live make it unsafe for me or my student(s) to attend school. What should I do?
A: The MVSD Transportation Department provides busing services to the largest geographic attendance area in the state of Washington. As such, we recognize that the conditions in Lost River may vary greatly from those in Carlton. We trust that each parent will make an informed decision that they believe is in the best interest of their student’s safety and well-being. If a parent believes the conditions in their area are unsafe for travel to and from school, they should notify their student’s school that their student will not be attending school and that they are excusing their absence.
Q: How will the MVSD communicate these potential changes to the school schedule?
A: Changes to the regular school schedule will be communicated using several sources of information. These include:
- School Messenger – With School Messenger, we will phone, text or email you whenever there’s a change to the regular school day schedule. Please make sure the school has accurate contact information.
- Skyward Messenger – With Skyward Messenger, we will email students and parents whenever there’s a change to the regular school day schedule. Please make sure the school has accurate contact information.
- Radio – Tune into the following radio stations to hear changes to our school schedule – KOZI “Community Radio” (103.1 FM) and KTRT “K-Root” (97.5 FM).
- Social Media – We will post updates about school closures, delays and emergency bus route modifications on the MVSD Facebook page.
Q: When can I expect the district to notify me of the changes?
A: The MVSD will make every attempt to notify students, parents, and community members of changes to the regular school schedule no later than 6:00 a.m.
You can find more information about school closures, delays, and/or changes to bus routes on our School Closures, Delays and Emergency Routes page or by contacting the Transportation Department at (509) 997-2113.
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District