Inclement Weather Protocols

WSVSD will communicate with families in their preferred language. If a family is not receiving information from their student’s school or, if family contact information has changed, please notify your student's school office. 

If staff and/or families “opted out” of receiving information from WSVSD via text messages, you can choose to opt back in by texting the word “start” to 98900.

  • School closure or delayed start decisions will typically be made by 5:30am

  • WSVSD encourages families to make transportation and attendance decisions for their children based on their own assessment of travel conditions in their area. 

  • When all district schools and facilities are closed, all daytime and evening activities are canceled.  

  • When there is a two-hour delay in opening school all schools will open two hours later than regularly scheduled.

  • When school is on time and buses all schools will operate on regular daily schedules. 

  • If the weather forecast calls for declining weather conditions that necessitate an early dismissal/closure of schools all daytime and evening activities/events are canceled.

    WSVSD also posts updates online:

The decision to close or delay the start of school can have a major impact on people's daily lives, but the reasons behind such a decision can sometimes seem puzzling. The information below, explaining the careful process taken to reach such a decision, may help you understand what steps are taken when the question of school closure or delay presents itself.

The White Salmon Valley School District serves students and communities from a variety of locations, elevations, and geographic areas. As you can imagine, weather conditions vary greatly in our district. We have Bingen at river level and Snowden, Mt. Brook and Husum in the higher elevations. What might appear to some areas within our district as a mild snowfall can be a treacherous storm to others. We must take all locations into account before deciding to cancel or delay school.

Before deciding to close schools, the superintendent consults with his staff. The Transportation Supervisor drives portions of every single bus route every morning when potential inclement weather is upon us. The supervisor contacts both the Klickitat County and Skamania County road crews to ensure safe operation of buses, protection of our students from the actions of other drivers, safe walking and waiting conditions. Predicted weather conditions later in the school day that will allow students a safe return home are also taken into consideration. To help with this process, we subscribe to ERF (Extended Range Forecasting) for minute-by-minute local forecasts.

Once this information has been gathered, the superintendent and transportation supervisor then confer and make the decision that allows us to operate school on time, have a 2-hour delay, or cancel school altogether for the day. If conditions warrant it, bus route modifications will be made. These modifications may be different from day to day because of the varying weather conditions (different elevations within the district).

Once we make the decision to delay 2-hours or close schools, we try a number of ways to ensure the word reaches parents, students, and staff. We notify all local radio stations and, through another service provider, all Portland TV stations, of our decision. It is then broadcast, beginning very early in the morning in most instances.

Sometimes, when it is clear that weather conditions will not improve enough during the day to allow us to reopen schools the next day, the decision to alter the schedule is made earlier, to allow parents, staff, and community members such as daycare providers to plan for the changes the coming day. This advance decision-making allows everyone involved as much time as possible to adapt to the constantly changing situation.

We hope this explanation helps students, parents, staff, and community understand what goes into the decision to close, delay, or hold schools open as scheduled.

Remember, our first 
priority is to always operate school.

But, our first 
responsibility is to ensure, as best we can, the safety of students, staff, and community, so we can continue to fulfill the valuable educational mission entrusted to us.