How Does the District Decide to Close/Delay Schools?
When the Pendleton School District makes the decision to delay or close schools during inclement weather conditions, the decision isn’t made lightly. It’s a team effort between district administrators and Mid-Columbia Bus Company. The safety of students is the most important factor.
When weather forecasts indicate there will be snow or ice on Pendleton roadways, MidCo personnel hit the roadways in the early morning hours to drive the significant and trickier bus routes in the district to determine if they will be safe for students and buses by the time kids need to be picked up at bus stops. MidCo contacts school district administrators by 5 AM with a recommendation on whether to delay school for a couple of hours or close for the day. Once administrators have discussed the situation, a decision to delay or close is made.
Once a decision is made, school administrators are contacted and a message is sent via School Messenger to notify staff and parents of the delay or closure. The district posts the information by 6 AM on its website and Facebook page as well. Local media also are notified to help get the word out.
The decision to delay or close school is taken seriously. MidCo and school officials factor in student safety both to and from bus stops during inclement weather conditions, as well as potential traffic issues on roadways. In addition, MidCo weighs the risks of accidents and injuries to bus drivers and students during winter conditions. The safety of students and bus drivers is the number one factor in making these decisions.