Temperatures have dropped into the 20s and 30s during the nights, which means inclement weather and related school closures are a looming possibility. Here is what families need to know to prepare.
Canby School District regularly monitors weather forecasts from several different sources to make delay and closure decisions, according to Autumn Foster, the district's communication coordinator. If it's obvious the weather will impact safe travel, Superintendent Trip Goodall will make a decision to delay or cancel the night before school.
But if the decision isn't obvious, the district works together with Student Transportation of America, the district's bus company, to make a decision on whether the roads are safe or whether bus routes should be adjusted.
In the event of a delay or closure, there are a number of ways that families will be informed.
The first is a mass notification system that will call, email or text staff and families in English and Spanish. The system also issues push notifications on the district's mobile app if users have push notifications enabled.
Additionally, the district uses FlashAlert to make information available through television and radio. Families can check for current FlashAlert messages or subscribe to receive the district's FlashAlert email notifications.
Finally, schedule changes are posted on the district's website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
"These messages are all sent out at the same time, so we encourage everyone to use whichever communication channel works best for them," Foster said. "We invite the community to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if they're used to receiving information that way."
Foster pointed out that while delays and closures can be inconvenient, the safety of the students, families and staff is worth it.
"Making sure our staff and students get to school safely is our top priority during these inclement weather situations," Foster said. "We value our instructional time and do not want to delay or cancel classes. However, sometimes it is necessary."
So the district encourages families to plan ahead for child care, transportation, meals and more in case of a weather-related closures. Families should also check with their school office to ensure contact information is up to date.
If days are missed, the district now has a built-in contingency plan.
"During the 2016-17 school year, we had an incredibly rough winter and we missed more than a week of school due to bad weather," Foster said. "The School Board elected to make up those days at the end of the school year. Since then, we've allocated a week's worth of snow days to be made up at the end of the year if necessary. It's on our district calendars now so there are no surprises."
For more information on the district's inclement weather plan, visit the district's website here.