Preparing for winter weather

As we move into winter, it is time to plan for the occasional day when severe weather causes school closures or delays. This may occur because roads are not safely passable, or in some cases, when walking conditions are not safe for students.

It is important for all families to be aware of the procedures that the school district uses to communicate school closures or schedule changes. These same procedures are also followed for closures due to other emergencies. Remember - sometimes during inclement weather, even though school may be in session, you know best the conditions in your immediate neighborhood and should make the final decision whether or not to send your child to school.

The decision to close schools generally will be made by 5:00 a.m. in consultation with the First Student Bus Company Manager, City and Borough of Juneau City Manager and the National Weather Service Juneau Forecast Office.

School closures or altered schedules will be posted by 6:00 a.m. on the Juneau School District’s web site at in the upper right hand corner on the school status chalkboard.

By 6:00 a.m., school-related announcements will be sent to local radio stations. In the unlikely event that school must dismiss early, notices will be sent to the media to air as soon as possible.

 KINY 800 AM, KJNO 630 AM, KSUP 106.3 FM, KTKU 105.1 FM, KTOO 104.3 FM

In the event of a school closure, the automated SchoolMessenger system will be used to make phone calls to families at 6:30 a.m. with information regarding the school schedule.

No announcement means that schools will be operating under a normal schedule with regular bus routes 

Example of announcements that may be used for weather emergency conditions:

1.     Juneau School District schools are closed.
All schools are closed for the day. All meetings, field trips, RALLY, and after-school activities are canceled for the day.

2.     Juneau School District schools are open; buses are operating on “snow routes”.
When most roads are open and safely passable, but snow and ice conditions make certain roads and bus stop locations unusable, “snow routes” are used. Many schools have snow routes for certain buses that serve that school. Snow bus routes can also be found here.

Juneau School District schools have a delayed start.
This means that schools will begin between one and two hours late. The exact time is provided in the announcement. Buses also run on the same delayed schedule.

Juneau School District schools are open except for specifically identified schools.
Only certain schools are closed for the day. No buses will serve these schools. This will be used only if road and walking conditions vary drastically by geographic area in our community.

Juneau School District schools have an early dismissal.
It is possible that conditions could develop during the school day that require schools to close early to ensure safe transportation home. In the unlikely event that this occurs, the decision will be made by 1:00 p.m. and immediately announced using the procedures described above.

Family emergency plan

Please prepare for inclement weather by dressing your child for the conditions each day. See the nurse or principal in your child’s school if you need help getting warm clothing. Please talk to your child about safe walking routes to school and remind students to stay a safe distance from the road while waiting at the bus stop. Wearing reflective tape on clothing and carrying a flashlight helps drivers see children on dark days. Make an emergency plan with your children in the event that schools are closed, start late or are dismissed early. Talk about where to go or what to do if a parent is not at home.

If you have knowledge of unsafe conditions for students due to weather, please contact your school’s principal. We appreciate your support in our effort to ensure the safety of your children in times of severe weather conditions and emergencies.


Glenn Gelbrich