Procedures for Weather-Related Delay or Closure

Procedures for Weather-Related Delay or Closure
Posted on 11/18/2019

November, 2019

Recent storms remind us that winter weather is coming.  We want to share our procedures for school delays and closures so everyone is prepared.  Answers to the following questions will clarify our process for weather-related delay and closure:

How are decisions made to delay or cancel school?  When snow or ice is predicted, we drive the roads before 4:30 am with buses and student drivers in mind. We also consider regional conditions that could prevent staff who live outside the district from getting to school. Forecasts are closely monitored. Our goal is to make a decision by 5:15 a.m. - if we can. Student and staff safety are our primary concern when making these decisions. Canceled days must be made up, but two-hour delays do not.

How are parents notified when school is delayed or canceled?  Information is sent by telephone, text message, and email using our messenger system.  It is also posted to our website, Twitter, Facebook, Flash Alert, and shared with TV/ radio stations. To receive these messages, parents should . . .

  • Log into Family Access and make sure all contact information is up to date for your family
  • Sign up for Flash Alert  ( ) to get emergency alerts from UPSD
  • Follow us on Twitter (@upsd83) and Facebook (
  • All parents must “opt-in” to receive text messages. If you have already opted-in to receive text messages through the student registration process, no action is required. If you have not opted-in and would like to receive text messages from us, text “Y” to 67587.

What options will the district consider when weather conditions are severe?

  • Two-Hour Late Starts This option gives us time to get our facilities ready (deice, clear sidewalks, etc.) and ensures that staff can get to work safely. Most importantly, a delay helps keep our students safe as they travel to school.  Often, weather and visibility improve later in the morning.  There is no preschool or out-of-district transportation when schools are delayed.
  • Canceling School is necessary when the weather forecast and current conditions at 5:00 a.m. indicate that a late start is not possible.
  • Closing School after it Starts  We never want to close school after students arrive. Early release due to weather conditions is extremely rare and a last resort.

How are school buses affected when it is snowing or icy?  Most of the time, buses are able to use regular routes during winter storms. In some conditions, however, buses run on “snow routes” to avoid side streets where snow or ice may be more severe. Snow routes have a limited number of stops - generally located at the entrances to neighborhoods or on main roadways. If your student rides a school bus it is important that you know about these special routes.  The routes are posted on our website.  (Select “Transportation” from the “Departments” menu and then choose “Snow/Delay Routes”). If you have questions about snow routes, please call our transportation office at 566-5724.