School Closures & Delays
Safety for All is Our Priority
In emergency situations, such as snow and icy weather conditions, the top priority is the safety of students and staff. We also recognize school closures disrupt family schedules and extend the school year. The decision to close schools is not an easy one.
It’s also complicated by the fact that our district covers 72 square miles of diverse terrain. In one part of the district, the roads may be perfectly clear while others are struggling with snow and/or ice.
Making a decision about weather-related school closures is always difficult because so many different situations have to be considered. We do our very best to balance the many interests at stake, but we recognize that no matter what decision we make, it will not please everyone.
We take the decision-making process very seriously. Student and staff safety is always our number one priority. Our staff begins evaluating road conditions across the district very early in the morning.
- Transportation and safety staff drive our district’s most challenging areas.
- They compare notes with transportation staff from neighboring districts to assess conditions outside our local area.
- They review hourly weather forecasts to assess whether conditions are improving or deteriorating.
- If there is a closure or a late start, we begin the communication system to get the word out to parents, students, and staff. Please check with your school office to make sure your student's emergency contact information is up-to-date.
Types of Schedule Changes
We make the best decision possible given the information we have, with student and staff safety in mind choosing from one four options:
- Leave all schools open operating on normal schedules.
- Start all schools two hours late so the extra time and daylight will make it easier for students to get to school safely.
- Close all schools.
- Close all schools and the KSD Administration Center.
For communication and administrative reasons, it is not possible to close just some schools in the district while leaving other schools open for districtwide weather events. Therefore, the decision has to be the best one for the safety of students in all areas of the district while at the same time avoiding unnecessary disruption.
If there is a change to our normal operating schedule, we will communicate with families and staff as soon as possible in a variety of ways.
- Automated phone calls. Please update Skyward or provide your school with current telephone numbers to reach you in a timely manner and keep other emergency contacts up to date for emergency alerts.
- Emails will be sent to all parents/guardians with an email address listed in Skyward.
- Mobile app alerts. Please download the free Kent School District mobile app and enable push notifications in your preferred language.
- FlashAlert announcements. Subscribe to receive notifications.
- District and school websites.
- Social media. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Announcements on local media.
Remember school schedule change announcements apply for that day only.
If no announcement is made by KSD during a weather event, schools, offices, and buses are operating normally.
Continue to look for updated announcements throughout the day. If conditions change rapidly or unexpectedly, we may need to make a quick decision to cancel school or send students home early.
Keep in mind that some areas of the district experience more severe weather and driving conditions than others. School closures and schedule changes are districtwide, even if your neighborhood is not severely impacted.
Please do not call the transportation office, your school, or the district office. Calls divert staff from responding to the current situation.
Update your emergency contact information in Skyward, or with your school, including phone numbers and email addresses to receive emergency alerts during the school day.