What to know if there are weather-related school closures or delays

  • 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 delayed and closure? Student and staff safety is at the forefront of every decision we make.  

    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 OR DELAYED: 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. 

    BESIDES ROAD CONDITIONS, OTHER FACTORS PLAY INTO THE DECISION INCLUDING:

    • 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 delay or 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.