Preparing for Inclement Weather
In emergencies, such as snow, icy weather conditions, and power outages, our top priority is the safety of students and staff. We recognize school closures disrupt family schedules, can create hardships and may extend the school year. The decision to close schools is not an easy one.
Deciding on weather-related school closures is always difficult because so many different scenarios must be considered. For example, our district covers 72 square miles of diverse terrain; this often means in one part of the district, the roads may be clear, while others are struggling with snow and/or ice.
A team of experienced leaders from across the district, including safety services, transportation, communications, facilities, maintenance, human resources, and school operations, makes the final recommendation to the superintendent about closing schools. Of course, during inclement weather events, we do our best to balance the many interests at stake. Still, we recognize that no matter what decision we make, everyone is impacted.
Here are the top 10 things you should know about closures and delays due to weather:
- School schedule change announcements apply for that day only.
- If KSD does not announce a weather event, schools, offices, and buses operate normally.
- Continue to look for updated announcements throughout the day. If conditions change rapidly or unexpectedly, we may need to decide to cancel school or send students home early quickly.
- Keep in mind that some areas of the district experience more severe weather and driving conditions than others. Therefore, school closures and schedule changes are generally district-wide, even if your neighborhood is not severely impacted.
- Please do not call the transportation office, school, or 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.
- Due to inclement weather schedule changes, there may be school days when transportation outside of Kent School District (KSD) is unavailable. Learn what "no out-of-district transportation" means in a schedule alert and which students it impacts.
- 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 will show alerts.
- Social media. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- Text messages. Please opt-in by listing up to four cell phone numbers in the Text Message Numbers section of Skyward. Learn more about receiving KSD information through text messages.
- Announcements on local media.
- There are multiple options for any potential impacts on our schools and administration campus open or close status:
- Schools open and administration campus open.
- Schools closed and administration campus open.
- Schools and administration campus closed.
- Schools are delayed, all schools start two hours late. The extra time and daylight will make it easier for students to get to school safely and the administration campus on time. Please view your student(s) school bell schedule.
- Any time your student(s) cannot attend school for any reason, please notify the school office on the morning of the absence by phone, email, or written note and provide an excuse for the absence.
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