District announcements about school operations come in several formats
District announcements about school operations come in several formats
Posted on 02/07/2017

When the decision is made to delay the start of school or cancel it altogether the Puyallup School District will make every effort to communicate with parents and staff in a timely manner.

As you can imagine, deciding that safe transportation of students is impossible can be challenging. PSD administration uses a variety of indicators to come to this conclusion. Given the size of the district’s attendance area and variation in topography, weather conditions can vary from one school to another. This requires coordinated conversation among decision-makers and with those driving the roadways to check conditions.

Once a decision has been made there are several communications tools employed to get the word out. The first action taken is a recorded telephone message sent out using School Messenger Communicate. Sometimes called a “robo-call,” this message is sent to over 26,000 families and staff members.

Arrangements have also been made with radio stations, television stations, and internet sites to broadcast emergency information regarding the operation of school. If the Puyallup School District is not mentioned during the news broadcast, schools will be open with buses operating on as normal a schedule as possible. Broadcasts begin at 5:30 a.m. See a list of suggested radio and television stations on the Emergency Bulletin.

The tool used to communicate with local media is called Flash Alert. Anyone can register to receive the same messages by visiting the Flash Alert website at www.flashalert.net.

The PSD website will host an emergency notice at the top of the home page. A bright red bar will provide basic information. Visitors are encouraged to also reference the information found on the Emergency Information webpage. Parents will find an explanation of district announcements used.

Social media has become an effective way to rapidly share information about school delays or closures. With over 11,000 followers, the PSD Facebook page effectively reaches many families and staff members in our community with current information. Messages about school operations will be posted and updated frequently.

In the event of a weather-related two-hour late start on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, bus pick-up schedules will be two hours late, and buses will try to operate on all normal routes. Classes will dismiss at the normal time unless otherwise announced.

Some confusion is possible when there is a delay of buses and classes on a Monday. In the Puyallup School District classes begin one hour late every Monday. A delay of school means that students will start school one hour later than their regular Monday late start bell schedule. Essentially, this creates a two-hour late start for students.

Several programs are impacted when there is a late start. To learn more about Options, Gateway, Advance, SUMMIT, elementary band, elementary orchestra, and pre-school, visit the Emergency Information webpage found on the Puyallup School District website.

"Issues of student safety are paramount, and every effort will be made to communicate with families in a timely fashion and inform them of their options."

Decisions to delay or close school impact families in many ways. Issues of family schedules, day care, and a host of other problems are always created when a school closes with little notice to parents. However, issues of student safety are paramount, and every effort will be made to communicate with families in a timely fashion and inform them of their options.

A parent always reserves the right to keep their child home during times of inclement weather. This would be treated as an excused absence. Excessive absences will be handled with the school attendance policy.