Inclement Weather FAQ
Winter weather in the Truckee Meadows and surrounding areas can be unpredictable. When severe weather strikes our number one concern is the safety of all students in the Washoe County School District. The District wants to ensure every child and staff member can arrive at school safely, so the WCSD has plans in place to make the decision whether to delay, cancel or continue school as normal.
WCSD has a team of individuals who tracks the progress of winter weather and its impact on our roadways and schools. We work closely with the National Weather Service, the Cities of Reno and Sparks, and Washoe County to make informed decisions about school schedules. Since winter weather can impact school schedules for parents, students and staff, we try to make the decision about delays or closures as early in the morning as possible. The safety of students and staff is the number one concern during days with winter weather hazards. The District will do everything possible to ensure our schools are ready for students and staff during Northern Nevada storms.
If there are any delays, cancelations or other unexpected changes, WCSD will post announcements at the very top of our homepage at Washoeschools.net
The District Communications team will communicate any schedule changes to families in a variety of ways:
- The information will be featured across the top of the District's main webpage
- A phone message will be sent to all parents and staff starting at 6 A.M. (please be aware that it takes the system a while to send 73,000 + phone calls, your neighbor may get the call before you do.)
- local media partners will share information online and over the air.
- WCSD will share information on our social media channels.
Note for Incline Village Schools
Incline Village schools do not follow the rest of WCSD for delayed starts or snow days. Families are encouraged to check the Incline Schools Connection HOTLINE at (775)337-7509.
Note for Gerlach K-12
Gerlach will not follow the rest of WCSD for delayed starts or snow days. Announcements are sent to all students and parents through the Gerlach schools. Families are encouraged to check the Gerlach Schools Connection HOTLINE at (775) 557-2326.
Winter Bus stops are alternative locations for the pick-up and drop-off of students that may be used in bad weather. An example would be a bus stop that is on a steep hill may have a winter bus stop at a flat area nearby where the bus can stop to load and unload children more safely.
On days when buses will use winter stops, the school district will decide and announce the change before 6 a.m.
Winter Stops can be found through this link: Winter Bus Stops. If your bus route is not listed, it does not have a snow route that requires a winter stop and will pick up and drop off students at the normal location.
If Winter Stops are in effect, they will be used for both morning pickup and afternoon drop off, even if the weather has improved throughout the day.
When a two-hour delay is called on a Wednesday there will be no early release and students will get out at the same time as other weekdays.
Buses may run late for a variety of reasons, including traffic and road conditions. Parents should ensure that his/her child is wearing suitable clothing for the day’s weather in the event the child must wait at the bus stop for a longer than usual time. Parents also should have a contingency plan in the event that a bus is running extremely late or breaks down before reaching the bus stop. Make your child aware of what he/she should do or whom to call if the bus does not arrive. Identify a neighbor, friend, or a reliable “student buddy” that can help in the event of an unexpected emergency.
What programs are cancelled if schools are on a two-hour delay?
2 Hour Delay
PM Early Childhood Preschool
All Day Early Childhood Strategies
AM Early Childhood Preschool
Per district announcement
After School Activities
Generally speaking, evening activities, events, and athletic practices are canceled when schools are closed for the day; however, because weather conditions may improve over the course of the day there are occasions when an event might occur even when schools have been closed. The District will confirm whether evening events will take place by posting information on our website and through our social media outlets. Please monitor these sources of information for the latest news.
In rare cases weather and/or other factors can cause the District to “Early Release” students. We will send messages to all families. We will also notify the media and post information on the District’s website and its social media outlets. We urge parents to pay close attention to our website, social media outlets, as well as local media partners for timely updates. WCSD encourages families to have a plan in place in the event of an unexpected dismissal.
If parents believe it is unsafe for their high school student to drive to or from school because of weather conditions, students who live outside of the walk zone are welcome to ride the bus assigned to his/her neighborhood. Students can also walk or be driven by a parent or another adult of the parents’ choosing
The option to keep a child home from school when the parent considers the weather conditions to be excessively dangerous is always at the parents’ discretion. Schools understand and respect this decision however they cannot excuse the absence until the make up work is completed. parents should notify the school that their child will be remaining at home. Parent should also review and understand WCSD’s Attendance policy www.washoeschools.net/attendance
Please know that we do our best to keep our students and staff safe at all times. This is our home also and we face the same frustrations and inconveniences when winter weather hits our area. there is no perfect decision to satisfy all 64,000 plus students and 8,000 plus staff. We hope you found this page helpful, if you have suggestions on how this web page could be improved please email them to Crahn@washoeschools.net.