Snow Days

This week's snow impacted the Clatskanie and Rainier School Districts causing closures and delays.

During snow events and other adverse weather, Clatskanie School District officials must make decisions about when to cancel classes.

The Chief chatted with Clatskanie School District Superintendent Cathy Hurowitz about the process.

The Chief: During adverse weather, specifically, how and when does the Clatskanie School District determine classes need to be cancelled? 

Cathy Hurowitz: Our transportation supervisor begins driving the roads around 4 a.m. during a possible weather event. We then determine if it is safe for our busses to transport students. We also monitor the weather, if it looks like it is cold enough to freeze our roads we can and will call for a two hour delay the night before, as we did on Wednesday. If we call a delay and we see that there is no improvement in the weather we then will cancel school. Student and staff safety is our number one priority when we consider cancelling. We will err on the side of caution as to not put anyone in danger. 

The Chief: How do you communicate the school closures with Clatskanie parents? 

Hurowitz: Once a decision has been made to cancel or delay school we have a messaging system that goes out to every family and staff member. We also notify area radio and television stations.  An email is also sent out and the notice is put on our Facebook pages.  We try get our notices out by 6 a.m.

The Chief: Do you have a "snow day" buffer, and /or will such "snow days" be made up by students and when? 

Hurowitz: We have a minimum number of student contact days that every district must meet by statute. When we develop our calendar we tend to build it to maximize student contact days. Because we build additional student days into our calendar we can often cover snow days. In the event that we need to add days we would typically add the days to the end of the year or work with our staff to determine the best way to add the days.

Read more in the Friday, Jan. 17 print edition of The Chief and follow school weather delays and closures here online.


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