What to know if there are weather-related school closures.

  • Only Mother Nature knows if Suzy Snowflake or Jack Frost have Bainbridge Island on their winter itineraries — here's what you need to know if they pay us a visit.  

    What is involved with making weather-related closure? Student and staff safety is at the forefront of every decision we make.  

    Given the uniqueness of the 2020-21 school year, we are reframing our parameters when it comes to inclement weather and/or power outages and their impacts on the school day.  It’s important to note that because of the AM/PM Hybrid Schedule for in-person learning, we will not be utilizing one- or two-hour delays this year. 

    In order to help families and staff facilitate planning, BISD will do its best to make the decision whether or not school will be in session as soon as possible. But as we’ve experienced in the past, Mother Nature can be unpredictable. Sometimes a decision cannot be made until the last minute.  

    If there will be changes to the usual school day, we will communicate with you via our communication channels:

    • Email
    • Mass notification via phone 
    • Text (to those who are enrolled in our text alerts)
    • On the BISD website
    • Via social media

    SNOW (with accumulation)

    During Continuous Learning (remote learning) and 100% Online Learning

    • It remains a typical day of Continuous Learning and 100% Online Learning
    • No in-person services for those students who access BISD sites; they will access their learning in a Continuous Learning environment
    • BISD Facilities closed for afterschool interscholastic activities and outside rentals and reservations
    • This will count as a school day and thus, BISD will not be required to make it up at the end of the school year
    • We will communicate with you via our usual channels

    During In-Person Learning 

    • No in-person learning. Instead, students will access their learning via the asynchronous materials posted by teacher(s)
    • If applicable, a decision will be made by noon regarding extracurricular activities 
    • This will count as a school day and thus, BISD will not be required to make it up at the end of the school year
    • We will communicate with you via our usual channels


    During Continuous Learning (remote learning) and 100% Online Learning

    • BISD will work with Puget Sound Energy to determine how wide-spread the power outage is; if it is determined that the power will not be restored to the majority of the island by 9:30 a.m., it will be a non-school day
    • BISD facilities closed
    • This will not count as a school day and BISD may be required to make-up the day at the end of the school year
    • We will communicate with you via our usual channels  

    During In-Person Learning

    • The decision will be made on a case by case basis and included in the decision will be whether or not Puget Sound Energy predicts the school will be without power for the majority of the day. A decision about the feasibility of transitioning to asynchronous learning for the day will be assessed. If not feasible due to a wide-spread lack of power, school may be canceled for the impacted building(s). 
    • BISD would need to apply for a waiver to the state for the missed day(s); if the waiver is not granted, the impacted school(s) may be required to make-up the day(s) at the end of the school year
    • We will communicate with the impacted families and staff via our usual channels

    WHEN WEATHER HITS OVERNIGHT: District officials begin driving island roads around 3 a.m. to evaluate conditions. They drive main roads, side roads and hills throughout the island, as conditions can vary from one end to another. 

    WHEN SCHOOL IS CANCELED: Once a decision is made to alter our schedule, we begin alerting our staff and BISD families by 5:30 a.m. (if possible). Because many of our staff live off-island, and many of our parents work off-island, it's imperative to get the messages out ASAP. 


    • What are the surrounding conditions like in Kitsap County? Approximately ⅓ of our staff live off-island. If the majority of ⅓ of our staff were unable to get to work, there would not be enough substitute teachers, substitute bus drivers, substitute food servers, etc. to cover the necessary staffing positions to operate a school day. 

    • Are the BISD parking lots and walking paths safe? Despite Herculean efforts of our grounds and custodial crews, sometimes Mother Nature dumps more snow or ice than our crews can keep up with!

    • Other considerations include: the weather forecast; weather conditions for students getting to and from (and waiting for) school buses.

    When a decision to cancel school is made, we use the following communication tools to spread the word—

    School Messenger: This system pulls information from Skyward (Family Access) so please make sure your contact information is up to date by logging into your Family Access Account.
    School Messenger sends emails, phone calls and text messages, but you MUST OPT-IN to receive district text messages.

    To OPT-IN TO TEXT, please do the following:
    1. First log-in to your Family Access Account and click on the "My Account" link in the top right corner.
    2. Verify that your cell phone number is listed and is accurate. If not, please update it. 
    3. Using your cell phone, text Y to 67587. You will receive a reply from School Messenger saying that you are now subscribed.
    Please note: If you are not a BISD guardian or staff member and wish to receive emergency text alerts from BISD, please email your cell phone number to ebischoff@bisd303.org and she will walk you through the appropriate steps. Please allow up to a week to be added to the system. 

    Website: Decisions regarding snow-related schedule changes are posted on the homepage at www.bisd303.org

    Social Media: Decisions regarding snow-related schedule changes are posted on our social media accounts.

    Local Media Announcements: Radio/TV stations will announce districts by name. Look and listen for Bainbridge Island School District #303.

    REMEMBER: No announcement means school is on schedule. 

    Questions about the communication process? Contact Erin Bischoff at ebischoff@bisd303.org or 206-780-1081.