From time to time throughout the school year, weather may force a change in the normal operating routine of the district. The district has in place a process to make decisions and the ability to communicate information to parents, students, and staff in various matters about changes to the normal daily routine.
As routine is very important to our students, parents, and community, the district will make every effort to adhere to the established school calendar and bell schedules; however, the safety of students and employees is the highest priority. The following information will clarify how recommendations and decisions are made regarding the delay or possible closure of school, how information is disseminated to the families and, as a community, what you can expect.
As inclement weather and traffic will affect the bus schedule, we ask that families be patient and understanding. We will do everything in our control to provide accurate information regarding pick up times for your student(s). Please remember, the safety of your child(ren) is our primary concern.
Recommendation and Decisions
At approximately 3:30 a.m., designated transportation personnel begin ongoing communication with the county public works department and driving roads throughout the district to determine the ability to safely transport students via school buses. They will also assess the status of arterials (major and minor), making note of specific challenging areas, and will review existing and anticipated weather patterns through the NW Weathernet, National Weather Service, various news stations and surrounding school districts. Between 4:45 – 5:00 a.m., the Transportation Director meets with the Superintendent and relays the gathered information. The Superintendent then determines the feasibility of safely transporting children to and from school within North Mason School District.
When at all possible, decisions regarding school delays or closures are made by 5:00 a.m. North Mason School District uses a minimum of three separate communication processes to notify our families of changes regarding the normal routine. Each family's primary residence phone line is contacted with a standardized message of the anticipated change, local area radio and television media stations are contacted to report the changes, and the district's web page will contain a banner announcing specifics.
Parents can call the Closure/Delay Hotline to hear a recorded message announcing any school closures or delays. (360) 277-2390
What changes can parents expect?
The following emergency condition messages will be most commonly used by the North Mason School District:
Snow Routes in Effect. This means buses will begin their routes on their normal scheduled time. Limited bus service will be available in specified neighborhoods that require alternate service locations.
Two Hours Late. This means buses will begin their first route two hours late but at regularly scheduled stops UNLESS the message includes "Snow Routes in Effect". There will be no morning preschool, no academic before school programs, no Pace session one, no morning Boys & Girls Club, and breakfast will not be served at schools.
Two Hours Late – Snow Routes in Effect. This means buses will begin their first route two hours late. Limited bus service will be available in specified neighborhood areas that require alternate service locations.
Schools Closed. This means all North Mason schools are closed for all regular and/or special education students. No transportation will be provided to other schools outside of our district even though they may be open and operating on schedule. All scheduled activities are also canceled. District administrative offices will be open and administrators are expected to report to work as soon as safely possible.
Emergency Bus Route(s). This means a particular bus route or routes have been affected by a wind storm, mudslide, or emergency road closure, limiting bus service to a specified neighborhood or region of the district.
How should you prepare for changes to the school day?
All families should have an emergency inclement weather plan in place that can be put into action on short notice. Ensure that your children have an alternate place to stay if you must be at work on a day when school has been delayed or canceled. Ensure a neighbor, family member, or daycare center is able to care for or receive students. Instruct students to report directly home or to their established daycare center immediately on arrival in the evening.
Public media stations that report school delays and closures: