School Closure and Delayed Starts
As wintery weather approaches, it is time to review our district procedures for school closures and delays due to inclement weather.
Safety is our top priority, and as we head into darker mornings, please have students waiting for the bus with a flashlight to help the drivers spot them.
The most important aspect of the decision to delay or close school is the safety of our students and staff. That is paramount in our deliberations.
Bus drivers and transportation personnel drive the bus routes whenever there is a weather problem to determine safety. They then make a recommendation to the superintendent. A decision will be made by 6:00 AM on whether to operate, delay the start, or close the school.
This is a difficult decision because the information we get in the early morning may be incomplete. The weather and road conditions vary along the valley corridor, often changing rapidly before the start of school. Road conditions can worsen with traffic or improve with warming temperatures and sanding. We do the best we can with limited information.
Flash Alert Newswire is another excellent website.
You can sign up for email notifications about McKenzie Schools from Flash Alert Newswire.
We will also be posting closure and delay information to the school's Facebook account.
We will send out a message through the automated calling system, alert local businesses, and we will have recorded messages on both the elementary and high school message machines.
High School: 541-822-3313
Please watch or listen to the following stations, which are supposed to carry our information:
KLCC 89.7 FM
KPNW 1120 AM / 104.7 FM
KRVM 1280 AM / 91.9 FM
KMGE 94.5 FM
KKNU 93.1 FM KVAL TV
LNRQ 96.1 FM KEZI TV
KUGN 590 AM KMTR TV
When weather conditions are expected to improve later in the morning, we will begin announcing at 6:00 AM that school will operate on a TWO-HOUR DELAYED START.
If conditions fail to improve, a decision to close school will be announced to the media by 8:30AM. Buses arrive at stops exactly 2 hours later than a normal morning.
On a DELAYED START, the staff will report to school by 9:30 AM and the students will report by 10:00AM.
The cafeteria will serve breakfast and lunch, but the menu may be changed to something that can be prepared more quickly.
After School Clubs, including sports, will not meet on days with snow routes, nor will the activity bus run.
When there is an abundance of snow, whether delayed or not, we may opt to use our snow routes. You will be informed of this the same way you are informed of delays and closures.
Our buses are equipped with chains, but windy side roads and slick road conditions require us to use caution.
During snow routes, the following roads will be closed to bus traffic:
Hwy 242, Horse Creek Road, Taylor Road, North Bank Road, McKenzie River Drive, King Rd, Blue River Road, Marbrook Lane, Gate Creek Road, and Goodpasture Road.
Please choose the pick-up location that works the best for your family (see times/specifics below):
Down river (from the school) buses-Vida Church(am)/Vida Cafe(pm) or Everyone’s Market.
Up river (from the school) bus-Blue River @ city bus stop(am)/Meyer’s General Store(pm), Blue Sky Market, or McKenzie Bridge General Store.
Morning: morning, buses will go all the way to our Springfield stop by McDonald’s, making regular stops along Highway 126 including stops at McKenzie Bridge General Store at approximately 6:50 am, Blue Sky Market at approximately 7:20 am, McKenzie Bible Fellowship(Vida Church) at approximately 7:05 am, and Everyone’s Market at approximately 7:15 am for Ernie’s bus and 7:30am for Greg’s bus to meet students that are usually picked up on side roads.
Afternoon: the drop-off times (same stop options as the AM Snow Route): Vida Café at approximately 4:15 pm for Greg’s Bus and 4:25 pm for Ernie’s bus, Everyone’s Market (Ernie’s bus only) at approximately 4:40 pm, Meyer’s General Store parking lot @ 4:05 pm, Blue Sky Market at approximately 4:20 pm, McKenzie Bridge General Store at approximately 4:30 pm.
We highly recommend that you have a battery operated radio available so when the power is out, you can still access the news. The school district phones are not operable when there is a power outage. We will alert the news media in the case of delay or closure because of a power outage the same as with weather.
Playing in the Snow at School
Please remember to dress your child warmly on cold days. Hats, gloves, and boots are required for students who want to play outside at recess, the more waterproof the better. Also, it never hurts to have an extra change of clothes in their backpack at this time of the year. Here are some tips from TapGenes.com on ways to keep your student(s) warm this winter:
Small children: Let them get involved. For school-aged children, it may help to get them involved in the winter attire department by taking them shopping for accessories, such as gloves and hats, or getting their input on the type of coat they would like. A little thing like choosing a color they are comfortable in might go a long way in ensuring that those gloves stay on during recess. Cover your bases. The key to keeping a kid warm at any age really is building a solid foundation of warmth from the inside out. Start with a good base layer in a material like wool or a polyester blend, which will wick away moisture and keep in the heat. You really want to avoid cotton, since it tends to absorb moisture and can actually lower body temperature. Keep those gloves on. My 1st grader is the worst about keeping gloves on. I get a lot of, “But Mom, my hands aren’t cold!” Although you might get some resistance, Dr. Burke maintains that you need to insist on keeping those hands covered. “In cold weather, our hearts send extra blood to the vital organs to keep them working properly, which means there is less going to our extremities,” he explains. “That’s why keeping hands, feet and heads warm with clothing is so important.”
Bigger children: Protect all the parts. It may sound crazy, but if your bigger kids are hitting the slopes or playing hard in the snow, they may also be at risk for a sunburn, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen and encourage sunglasses to protect those eyes. Material matters. Warm clothing doesn’t necessarily have to be bulky to be effective against the cold. Look for insulating fabric that is also waterproof and wind-resistant. Down-filled jackets and vests are always a good option since they add warmth without a lot of bulk and look stylish.
We are dedicated to the safety of our students and staff. We will make any decision regarding school with their safety uppermost in our decision making. Please turn on your computer, radio, TV and/or device to get the latest information regarding delay or closure.