In the Pacific Northwest, from time to time, weather may require us to change our normal operating routines. University Place School District utilizes a variety of information to determine the plan that is safest for students and staff while taking into account the impact on our families when decisions are made to close or delay school.
The following information explains how delay/closure decisions are made and how families can get the most current and accurate information possible.
Accurate and Timely Information. We work closely with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service, to get the most accurate reports and forecasts during storms. Additionally, UPSD staff drive the main bus routes between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 am on days when snow and ice are on the ground or predicted. We review current conditions and look at the forecast; our goal is to make a decision no later than 5:00 a.m. School delay or closure information is immediately sent to parents by telephone and email using our school messenger system. The same information is posted to our website and sent to local television and radio stations.
2-HOUR LATE START. This means buses will begin their first route, at their regularly scheduled stops, two hours later than their regularly scheduled time. Delaying the start of school keeps students from waiting at bus stops or traveling to school in stormy or snowy conditions. 2 hour late starts might be needed if weather conditions over night created significant- but temporary- safety concerns. These days do not need to be made up. There is NO Pre-school or out of district transportation on a 2-hour late start.
SNOW ROUTES – When buses are on snow routes, they will have a limited number of stops, generally located at the entrances to neighborhoods or on well-traveled streets. Snow routes are utilized when main roads are in safe passable condition but neighborhood and side-streets are likely unsafe due to weather conditions.
Snow Route stops will be published on the district website by October 15th. For additional information regarding snow routes, please contact our Transportation Office at 253-566-5724.
NO SCHOOL. School is canceled when conditions at 5:00 a.m. and the current forecast combine to indicate that things won't improve enough with a late start. It is very unusual for schools to be canceled for weather conditions other than snow and ice. However, severe damage or power outages from windstorms could be problematic in some areas. Canceled days must be made up.
CLOSING SCHOOL AFTER IT STARTS. This is our ‘worst case’ scenario. We really try to avoid bringing students to school and then sending them back home. This decision is only made on the rare occasion when weather conditions change suddenly during the school day.
Be Prepared. Here are a few things families can do to prepare:
Log into Family Access to confirm we have correct, up to date phone numbers and email addresses for your family. The district will use this information to contact you in the event of school closures or delays. Please call your child's school if you need help checking this information.
If your child rides a bus, please remember that pick up and drop off times may be impacted by snow, ice, or debris on roadways. Please visit our webpage at upsd.wednet.edu for route and schedule updates or contact our Transportation Office at 253-566-5724.
If your child walks to school, please take time to talk about the hazards of walking in snow and storm conditions, particularly if it is dark outside.
Sign up for Flash Alert, a tool that allows you to get updated weather and emergency information for local areas and for UPSD.