Weather Delays and Closures


Many school districts around the state are grappling with questions about what to do on days where we have snow and ice. Do we continue to have snow days, or can districts offer a full day of remote instruction? It is a fair question without simple answers.

In order to count a remote day as a full school day, districts have to guarantee that all students have full access to the learning that day. When we have snow and ice, some families that live in the more rural regions of the district lose power or do not have reliable internet. Additionally, many of our teachers live in areas without reliable internet and would not be able to come to school to conduct remote lessons. In both scenarios, many students would not get access to instruction and assignments for the day. We can't allow that to happen.

For these reasons, we will continue to have snow days due to inclement weather. If we have to close, the day will be added back into the calendar later in the year.

The following information is for reference in the event that the schools are closed/delayed/released early due to inclement weather or other emergencies. IF NO ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE, SCHOOLS AND BUSES WILL BE OPERATING ON REGULAR SCHEDULES.  The district will make every attempt to reach a decision on school closures or delays by 6:00am.  When weather or other emergency conditions dictate the closure or delayed start of our schools, information will be provided via our phone notification system and Seattle TV (KOMO, KING, KIRO and KCPQ) and local radio stations KXXO (MIXX 96.1FM), KGY (1240AM or 96.9FM), KITI (1420AM 95.3 or 95.1FM), (KMAS 1030 AM or103.3) and KELA (1470AM or KMNT 104.3FM).

PLEASE TUNE YOUR RADIO/TV TO ONE OF THE ABOVE STATIONS AND LISTEN UNTIL YOU HEAR THE ANNOUNCEMENT.  Please do not telephone radio or television stations for this information. 

School Closure:  When a school is closed all day, any school activities and community events scheduled on that school campus are generally cancelled.

Two-hour delay:  All schools will open late.  Although buses will start their run later than usual, road conditions may cause delays.  Limited transportation will be announced if road conditions cause restrictions in designated areas.  If school is open, but you think it would be a danger or hardship for your child to go, school officials will accept your judgment.  (It will be treated as an excused absence.)

  • Breakfast: If school is delayed during remote or hybrid learning, breakfast will be served for that day.
  • Special Education Pre-School: If school is delayed, there will be no AM preschool, but there will be afternnon special education pre-school.
  • New Market Skills Center: No transportation will be provided.

Snow Routes: Weather conditions make it necessary to modify bus routes, and when that occurs, radio and TV stations will be asked to announce the use of “snow routes” or “emergency routes.”

Early Release: The District will make every effort to operate normally, despite the weather.  On rare occasions, however, weather conditions may require schools to be closed early.  In that event, the normal busing sequence will be followed, that is, taking the RPS and GMES students home first, followed by RMS and RHS students approximately 1 to 2 hours later.  Information about early school closures will be provided via our phone notification system and the TV and radio stations listed above. Parents/guardians should plan for adequate home supervision in the event that unscheduled early dismissal of students is necessary.   Parents are also asked to remind students to be especially careful when walking or waiting for a bus during bad weather. Notification Service: The Rochester School District has subscribed to an Internet-based system for delivering changes in schedule (such as delays or closures) to the news media.

Message delivery is being extended directly to the public through a system called FlashAlert. You are now able to self-register and manage up to three home or office email and/or cell phones and receive emergency information just minutes after the school district posts it, at no cost to you.

  1. Go to
  2. On the top menu bar, select “Manage Your Messenger Subscription
  3. You may either update your current account, or click on “Create New Account: Click here
  4. Enter your primary email address, and create a password
  • Select the region of Seattle/Western Wash.
  • Type Rochester in the search box and click search.
  • Click on the search result Rochester SD.
  • Type the primary email address for this account and click subscribe.
  • Re-enter the address and password, then Create your Account.
  • Manage Your Email/Cell Messages:
  • Check the primary email address again.If you want push notifications on your cell phone you will need to download the app from Google Play or the iTunes App Store (search for Flash Alert Messenger). Directions for this part are in the “My Linked Phones Apps” then click on “Learn more about the Messenger App here.”

It is everyone’s hope that weather conditions will not disrupt transportation and schools.  Our most critical concern, however, is the safety and welfare of our students.