inclement weather

process and FAqs

Inclement Weather Process

Snow has finally appeared in our forecast! We'd like to share with you our district's process when it comes to making decisions due to inclement weather. We understand that these decisions significantly impact families, so we want to share the process behind these important decisions for better clarity and preparedness. The safety of our students, parents, and staff  is a core value prioritized here in Oregon City School District. We carefully consider our decisions with this in mind.

Here is what our process looks like: 

1. Assess weather and forecasted reports for local and surrounding areas to Oregon City.
To begin, we monitor the local area weather reports and those of the surrounding areas. We have a very diverse landscape within the Oregon City School District itself, and our surrounding area is no different. This means that while conditions may be clear and traversable near your residence, it may not be so in another area. Many of our staff live outside of Oregon City and those areas may be impacted differently than Oregon City. 

2. Monitor road conditions for bus routes and commutes.
When inclement weather appears in our forecast, we begin monitoring the roads. This happens the night before and in the very early hours, the day of. We aim to make our decisions by 5 am, before our bus drivers begin coming in to start their morning routes.

3. Connect with and monitor neighboring school districts in the surrounding areas.
We also monitor the neighboring school districts and surrounding areas. As mentioned before, many of our staff members live outside Oregon City and we have students who attend schools and programs outside of Oregon City. School delays or weather conditions in neighboring districts may impact their capabilities to safely commute. We are also unable to safely operate school without our staff. 

4. Finally, send out notifications.
Once a decision has been made we send out notifications through our official communication channels. These are ParentSquare, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, our websites, and FlashAlert. Families can also tune in to the local news channels to receive information about school closures and delays.

How do we decide between a school closure or a two-hour delay start?
We do this by watching the weather and collaborating with neighboring school districts about conditions. If the weather makes the roads impassable and there is no improvement forecasted in the weather, we will cancel school for the day. This means there will be no buses, and no after school activities. Our schools will be closed.

If it appears that the weather will improve, along with road conditions, we will decide to delay the start of our school day by two hours so that commuting to school will be safe. Should the road conditions not improve within that time, we will cancel school for the remainder of the day. If school has been delayed by two hours, buses will run two hours behind normal schedule and classes will be on a modified schedule. After school activities may be affected so please pay attention to the communication your school puts out in this regard.

It is important to pay close attention to our communications to know if school will run as normal the next day, or if there will be cancellations or delays.

We recognize that each weather event is unique and we understand that your families may be impacted in various ways. Additionally, weather conditions change rapidly and are unpredictable.  We work hard to make the best decisions we can with the information we know. We do not take these decisions lightly and our main concern in making these decisions is for staff and student safety.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Sometimes when the district closes schools I look outside my house and see only a thin covering of snow on the ground; I could easily take my child to school, but it is closed. Why is my school closed when it doesn’t need to be?
School closure decisions are based on conditions throughout the district. We operate as a system, not as independent schools. Over half of our staff members live outside of district boundaries and need to safely commute to work. Some areas of the district may have much more snow and school buses cannot be driven safely‐ i.e. Beavercreek or Redland areas. 

Schools are open, but with the snow and/or ice on the road it isn’t safe to drive/walk out of my neighborhood. What should I do?
We can’t make this decision for you or your family. You need to determine if it’s safe for you to drive/walk your child to school. We encourage families to make transportation and attendance decisions for their students based on their own assessment of travel conditions at their location.

How does the district work with neighboring districts when making the decision to close?

Clackamas County Superintendents work collaboratively to share information about weather conditions in their communities and discuss how their decisions to delay or close school may affect another district.  Staff and students cross district lines for work, specialized programs and activities; being safe is a priority for all of us. 

Can we shift to online learning when the snow/ice causes cancellations?

Shifting to online learning takes pre planning which includes ensuring students have access to technology, wifi, and understand how to interact with their teachers on online platforms.  Staff also need to have systems and structures in place, such as Google Classroom, to support interactions and teaching.  Typically, teachers are provided time to make this transition on canceled days.  At this time, Oregon City School District does not have this set up as an expectation for staff or students.  Ordinarily we are out of school only a day here and there and do not experience multiple days of closure.  As we move forward, we will be having conversations about how we may be able to set this up in the future.   

What can we do at home to make up for lost learning time? 

There are a lot of great activities that can be done at home to support student learning.  Reading a good book, writing a letter to a family member who is missing the great snow/ice storm, playing board games, engineering snow forts, learning about weather and climate, cooking new foods with measuring cups, playing an instrument, creating art, dancing or making up stories are all great activities for a snowy day! 

Families may also find supplemental resources here: