Skip To Main Content



School Closures


School Closure Information
Inclement Weather and Emergency Closures

School Closure/Delay Considerations

Weather events rarely cooperate with the predictions.   In a perfect world, snow and ice would arrive promptly at 5 a.m. so that the decision about having school can be made easily and promptly.  Be assured that when bad weather is predicted, our transportation supervisors, district office administrators, and other support staff assess conditions throughout the night and very early in the morning so that if conditions do worsen, we are ready.

The decision to close school or alter the schedule due to weather or other considerations is not made easily and is made with an appreciation for the impacts on students and families.  We also know that these decisions will not be met with universal approval. The following list has some of the considerations we balance:

  1. The impact on bus safety.  The primary consideration is the safe transport of our students on these very large vehicles.  (In a snow or ice event, school buses are statistically one of the safest ways to transport students to and from school.)

  2. The impact on student safety includes high school students and families who drive using personal transportation.

  3. Elementary students and childcare.  We need to ensure parents receive enough notice so that someone can be at the bus stop or home to supervise.

  4. Conditions at present and expected during the day.  Transporting students home by bus mid-day is at least a three-hour undertaking.  Bus drivers must be called back; often, the vehicles need to be chained, and each bus serves multiple schools.  For example, a weather event or forecast that justifies dismissing students beginning at 12:30 p.m. means drivers have to be called back before 9:30 a.m. to prepare.

  5. There are 18 schools and programs spread across 49 square miles at varying elevations.  The conditions always vary from school to school.

  6. Road, sidewalk, and parking lot conditions district-wide.

  7. The ability of schools to have the resources they need, such as uninterrupted electricity, food deliveries, stable heating, etc.

  8. Advice from multiple authorities.

Transportation Considerations

The safe movement of students is a priority of the GBSD and our partner, First Student. Inclement weather conditions can make servicing all school bus routes difficult. During snow/ice conditions, the GBSD sometimes announces buses are on snow routes, which are bus routes at higher elevations.  

If weather conditions make operating the bus route network unfeasible, we will likely cancel school. Weather conditions can be unpredictable, so there may be a situation when conditions will allow schools to remain open, but an individual stop or route is rendered inaccessible. In these rare instances, a message will be sent through our regular communication options.

Communication Options

When schools close due to weather or emergency situations, parents/guardians have several options they can choose to get information:

  1. Parent Square: Parents and guardians receive email, phone, or text messages using Parent Square.  Depending on the timing and nature of the closure or emergency, families may also receive a phone call using ParentSquare.

  2. FlashAlert is a county system that sends messages via text, email, or app. Click the following links to register: Clackamas Public Alerts and Multnomah County Emergency Management.

  3. GBSD Website. In the event of a closure, there will be a pop-up on all district and school web pages announcing closure or delay information.

  4. Follow the district’s X page, formerly Twitter.

  5. Follow the Gresham-Barlow Facebook page.

  6. Watch TV channels, KATU 2, KOIN6, KGW 8, and KPTV 12.

  7. Listen on the radio to 1190 KEXAM/103.3 KKCW FM Radio

Inclement Weather Definitions

School Closure:

When schools are closed for the day due to an unforeseen emergency, such as weather, school facilities will not be used for daycare, evening events, classes, or activities.  School closure in this content does not apply to days when schools are not in session for planned reasons, i.e., holidays and conferences, etc. 

Two-Hour Delay:

Schools will be open but two hours late. Buses will operate as close to two hours behind the regular scheduled times as road conditions allow.  On late start Wednesdays, bus service will run two hours behind a regular start day.  For example, if your student’s pick-up time on a late start Wednesday is 9:30 a.m., their pick-up time on a 2-hour delay late start Wednesday will be 10:30 a.m.

When there is a two-hour delay:

  • School begins two hours after the normal start time, except Wednesdays.  School starts one hour after the normal Wednesday start time.

  • Staff members should report as soon as they can arrive safely.

Early Release:

Early closures are rare and complex and usually related to changing weather conditions, usually snow and ice.  It takes several hours to call drivers back and chain the bus tires.  If the weather change comes after the 11 a.m. hour and drives a decision to close, the logistics involved in making buses safe also make it challenging to get students home earlier than normal, but we will try.

One Hour Late Start On Wednesdays:

With schools across the district starting one hour late on Wednesdays, you may wonder what will happen if the opening of school needs to be delayed because of bad weather. If a late opening is needed on a Wednesday, the kindergarten session for that day will be held. School will start for grades K-12 at the times below.

Late Opening Times for Schools On Wednesdays in the event of bad weather

Elementary: 10:35 AM
Middle: 11:05 AM
High: 9:35 AM

All activities, including childcare, are canceled.

Snow Bus Routes