Greetings Bellevue Community,
The Bellevue School District Leadership Team puts students, families, and staff safety at the forefront when we make a decision related to delays or closure of our schools. A decision to delay or close impacts thousands of individuals and we understand the importance of this responsibility. We recognize that school closures can have significant impacts on families.
The information below will provide more clarity about why families received messages on Monday, January 13 and Tuesday, January 14 that switched from a Two-Hour Late Start to School Closure.
On both days, we sent a Two-Hour Late Start message early to keep families off the road during the early morning hours. This delay allowed us to continue to monitor road conditions throughout the district, verifying the exact state of roads to and from our schools and within our neighborhoods. Some parts of our community had roads that were clear of snow and ice, while others were treacherous, and in our opinion, could not be navigated safely under the current conditions. Upon verification that some streets and neighborhoods were unsafe, we made the decision to move to a School Closure.
Many of our families have asked for more information on how we decide to delay or close schools. When we experience winter weather, our Transportation staff begin driving our streets by 4:00 a.m. to assess the road conditions. This information is shared with District Leadership who make the decision to delay or cancel school. When snow is forecasted, custodians and district maintenance staff report to work early so that they can assess conditions and maintain grounds according to the plans the Facilities department has outlined for each school. When needed, personnel are mobilized at school sites to help keep traffic flow safe and address slick areas as appropriate.
We know that some families are concerned about the impact school closures may have on upcoming first semester finals at schools, especially high schools. We are creating a districtwide plan to adjust the schedule for first semester finals. Families should expect to hear from their principals once the details have been finalized.
We will make clear and precise plans for any required days to be made up, including any modifications of snow days which are already embedded in the school calendar. We will publicize any changes to the school calendar no later than January 21, 2020.
Our commitment first and foremost is to the safety of our students, staff, and community. We appreciate and thank you for your patience. As with all of our efforts, we will continue to assess our actions and decision-making in an effort to continuously improve on behalf of our students, families and employees.
I am deeply appreciative to our staff who have worked tirelessly over the last days to keep me informed and to ensure our schools are prepared to reopen.
Bellevue School District