WCSD Prepares for Winter Weather, Urges Motorists to Use Caution
Contact: Victoria Campbell
WCSD Prepares for Winter Weather,
Urges Motorists to Use Caution
Reno, NV (November 22, 2019) – The Washoe County School District (WCSD) is preparing for inclement weather with reminders to students, families, and motorists about traffic and pedestrian safety. Nineteen young people have been struck by vehicles since the beginning of school in Washoe County, and District officials are urging drivers to use extra caution, especially as the weather worsens and the time change takes effect.
When the area is experiencing potentially dangerous weather conditions, District transportation officials begin driving on local roads throughout Washoe County at 3 a.m.—from Gerlach to Incline Village—to determine whether it is safe for school buses to travel. When making this important determination, WCSD stays in close contact with the National Weather Service, the cities of Reno and Sparks, Washoe County, and other local agencies.
The District has also designed Winter Bus Stops, which provide alternate locations for buses to pick up and drop off students in case of hazardous weather conditions. Winter Bus Stop locations are shared with families at the beginning of each school year and are listed on the District web page here.
“The days are growing shorter, and it gets dark earlier now,” said WCSD School Police Chief Jason Trevino. “Our officers work hard to monitor traffic near our schools, but we need drivers to slow down, watch for students, and be aware of the challenges posed by early morning sunshine and afternoon darkness. Our students are coming and going from our schools throughout the day, and drivers need to be aware of that and adjust their speeds and driving habits accordingly in order to keep everyone safe.”
“As the weather worsens, drivers may see students walking in the street to avoid snow on sidewalks that haven’t been shoveled, or waiting at alternate bus sites where it is safer for bus drivers to stop,” said WCSD Transportation Director Rick Marton. “We want drivers to be aware that students alter their walking habits when the weather gets cold, icy, and snowy. We want all of our students to stay safe all year long, but we face even more challenges during the winter months.”
“Safety is our District’s highest priority,” said WCSD Interim Superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill. “We know that winter weather poses difficulties to our students, families, and staff members, and we simply want everyone to remain safe. We all need to work together to ensure that happens, and I commend our outstanding school police officers and transportation employees who make it their mission to protect our students every day.”
Once a decision is made to delay school by two hours or cancel classes, the District:
- Sends a recorded call, text message, and email via the Blackboard Connect system to the homes of all students and staff members
- Notifies all local media outlets via email, phone call, and/or text message so they may begin broadcasting or posting the information immediately
- Posts the relevant information on the District web page at www.washoeschools.net, Twitter (WCSD Tweet), and the District Facebook page
- Updates the Parent Hotline at 335-8373 with current information about the delay or closure
- In Incline Village, parents and guardians of Incline students may call the Incline Parent Hotline at 337-7509 for information about possible delays or cancellation of classes at Incline Schools.
For general information about winter weather transportation policies and procedures, visit https://www.washoeschools.net/Page/527
What: WCSD will provide an opportunity for members of the media to visit a school and learn more about how the District makes the important decision to declare two-hour delays or cancellations of school due to dangerous weather conditions.
When: Monday, November 25
Where: Donner Springs Elementary School
5125 Escuela Way
Who: President Katy Simon Holland, WCSD Board of Trustees
Joe Ernst, WCSD Area Superintendent
Chief Jason Trevino, WCSD School Police
Rick Martin, Director of WCSD Transportation Department