Inclement Weather Procedures
Winter weather in Truckee Meadows and surrounding areas can be unpredictable. The Washoe County School District (WCSD) wants to ensure every student and staff member can arrive at school safely; therefore, we have plans to decide to delay, cancel or continue school as scheduled. Predicting the impact of weather is very difficult in Washoe County, especially due to our size: WCSD covers 6,500 square miles and elevations that range from 4,500 feet on the valley floor to 6,300 feet at Incline Village.
How will you be informed
WCSD has a team of individuals who track winter weather progress and its impact on our roadways and schools. Designated transportation staff work through the night and early morning to determine the best action. They measure road temperatures, check icy conditions and monitor other factors to determine if it is safe for school buses, students walking, student drivers and others commuting to our sites. There is also consideration about the forecast for later in the day. In addition, we work closely with the National Weather Service, the Cities of Reno and Sparks, and Washoe County to make informed decisions about school schedules.
If it is projected that road conditions will not improve for commuters before a two-hour delay has elapsed, we make the difficult decision to cancel school.
- We would like to notify families of any delay or closure the night before; however, that is not always possible due to changing conditions.
- Families will be notified about delays or closures via the Connect Ed system by phone call, text message, or email. Notifications start at 5:15 a.m.
- Families are encouraged to keep their contact information current and can contact their student's school to update their records.
- Information on any delays, cancelations or unexpected changes to the school schedules is posted on the main WCSD district page. As well as social media channels and local television and radio stations.
The school delay is to provide school buses with additional time to pick up students and reduce student wait time in severe weather. It also allows for additional time for school sites to clear parking lots and walkways. Buses may run late for various reasons, including traffic and road conditions.
- Morning school buses will be on a two-hour delay and begin pick-ups at designated bus stops and winter bus stops two hours later than the normal pick-up time.
- School starts two hours later than the regular start time of your school.
- School ends at the normal time. There is no early release if the delayed start is on a Wednesday.
- Field trips and early childhood will be canceled.
- All-day early childhood strategies and kindergarten will be delayed.
- Half-day morning early childhood will be canceled.
- Half-day afternoon early childhood will begin at regular time.
- Afternoon school buses will run on a regular schedule.
- If winter bus stops were used in the morning, they would also be used in the afternoon, even if road conditions have improved.
- Incline Village schools follow a different schedule; therefore, families are encouraged to check the Incline Schools Connection Hotline at 775-337-7509.
- Families in Gerlach K-12 might be impacted differently by the weather and will receive their notifications. They can also check the Gerlach Schools Connection Hotline at 775-557-2326.
- Transportation will not run any buses.
- All after-school activities, including middle and high school sports, are canceled, and transportation will not be provided for these activities.
In the past, we tried to regionalize calls for delays or closure, and it has not been successful due to the cross-zone transportation of students, parents, staff and school buses. If one region has a delay or closure, it directly impacts all the other connected regions except for Incline Village and Gerlach.
In rare instances, students might have to be released early. Families will be notified immediately if this occurs. Local television and radio stations will be notified, and information will be updated and shared on the district website and social media.
- High school students who feel unsafe driving during inclement weather and live outside the walk zone are welcome to ride the bus assigned to their neighborhood.
- Families who are hesitant to send their children to school due to weather conditions can keep their children home from school. However, this absence cannot be excused and will count towards chronic absenteeism.
- Families are encouraged to have a contingency plan in case a bus runs exceptionally late or breaks down before reaching the bus stop. The transportation department will notify families if their bus is delayed for more than 30 minutes.
Individuals can zoom in and click on various links to get specific location information in real-time and forecasted conditions.