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    2016 – 2017 Ice and Snow Emergency Notification Information
    Posted on 12/01/2016
    snowflake with sunshine

    Date: November 16, 2016

    To: Parents/Guardians of Students Receiving Bus Service

    From: Transportation Office

    2016 – 2017 Ice and Snow Emergency Notification Information

    The possibility of ice and snow conditions during the school year requires the District to be prepared to modify its normal operating procedures. This notice contains important information about these modifications and should be reviewed carefully with your students. Please keep this copy for future reference.

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES: Any changes in the Seattle School District’s normal operating hours or bus service because of ice and snow will be announced daily over AM and FM radio and television stations.


    a. If the Seattle Public Schools are not mentioned, schools will be open and buses will operate on regular routes and regular times.

    b. If a message regarding the Seattle Public Schools is announced, that message will be one of the four listed below.
    (Please note that schools will open two hours late when the buses operate two hours late.)

    1. Seattle Public Schools: Schools open on time – buses operating on snow routes. No door-to-door service. No Head Start. No A.M. or P.M. Kindergarten.

    2. Seattle Public Schools: Two hours late – buses operating on snow routes.

    No door-to-door service. No Head Start. No A.M. or P.M. Kindergarten.

    3. Seattle Public Schools: Two hours late – buses operating on regular routes. No door-to-door service. No Head Start. No A.M. or P.M. Kindergarten.

    4. Seattle Public Schools: Schools closed.

    No door to door service includes all out of District transportation and all taxi cab transportation.

    Message #2 and #3 mean that the buses will begin operating their routes two (2) hours later than normal. For example, if your child has a scheduled pick-up time of 7:00A.M, you can expect the bus to arrive at approximately 9:00A.M.


    If it should begin to snow during the school hours, the District will evaluate weather conditions and will decide to:

    1. Close schools early.

    2. Maintain normal operating hours.

    3. Delay bus departure time until traffic conditions improve.

    Parents/guardians should listen to radio/TV stations for updated information regarding early or late school bus departure times as well as for news on overall traffic conditions. Updates will also be available on the district website,, the Seattle Public Schools Facebook page, and on Twitter, @seapubschools.

    While the radio stations/TV stations are the best source of information regarding school closures and road conditions, your child’s school can also be contacted for information. However, schools have very few phone lines, so calls should be of an urgent nature.

    Each school will serve as a communications center for parents inquiring on the status of transportation and/or location of students. Schools will remain open until it is known that buses have completed their routes.

    Designated schools in each geographic area will serve as receiving centers for students if conditions become severe enough to make completion of the bus routes unsafe. Bus drivers are instructed to proceed to the nearest designated receiving school at any time they need assistance or if they cannot complete the route by 7:00P.M. If this occurs, the receiving school will contact the student’s school and home.


    Seattle is unique in that snow may accumulate in one area and not in other areas. As the decision is being considered to operate on snow routes or to close schools, circumstances in the entire city are carefully considered, as well as weather reports and any other pertinent information. However, experience has proven that weather reports related to snow are typically inaccurate. With this in mind, your patience and understanding during these emergency conditions will be appreciated.

    Ice & Snow bus routes have been established based on the following criteria:

    1. Safety of students both on/off the bus. 

    2. Stops placed on level or downhill grade.

    3. Following public transit (arterial), which are first to be cleared. 

    4. Making minimal number of stops, which lessens the problem of exit/entrance to traffic flow.

    5. Parents being responsible for safety of students’ to/from and at a bus stop. 

    6. Please note that not all school sites are accessible during snow days. Alternate drop off or pick up locations will be used when required. School staff and transportation staff will assist students at these areas.

    Students should be told to wait for buses at a safe distance from the roadway during icy conditions. Parents should instruct their children on safe walking and waiting procedures, and in all cases the children should be dressed adequately for unanticipated waits at bus stops. Whenever possible, parents are encouraged to wait at the stops with the students.