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What goes into calling a snow day?

What goes into calling a snow day or a delayed start day

It's all about safety! 
Have you ever wondered how we call a snow day or why we call a snow day? Well, deciding whether or not to call a snow day is not as straightforward or as easy as you may think, and the decision is not taken lightly. 

We want to ensure our students and staff are safe every day, so when a storm hits, our Superintendent Chief Learning Officer and our Transportation Director are up at the wee hours of the morning evaluating whether or not it is safe to have school that day.  

It’s all about safety!

An extensive evaluation process goes on behind the scenes at the district any time a winter storm is forecasted.

What we evaluate:

- The forecast for predicted snow amounts and elevation, as well as wind, ice, temperatures, and rain.

 -The status of Interstate 80, SR 28, SR 89, and SR 267 for road conditions, closures, and chain requirements. In addition to the district's main roadways and bus routes, we check on secondary roadways as well. We also check on the condition of roadways for students to stand while waiting at bus stops.

We always:

-Put safety first, for students and staff. This is our top priority.

-Consult professionals such as the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans, the National Weather Service offices in Sacramento and Reno, the Town of Truckee and the Placer County road department to determine if the roads are safe for buses to travel.

The challenges:

-We have a very large school district – 723 square miles – and the weather can vary from one location to another. 

-Our services, such as food services and transportation, are interconnected. (Note, based on their location on Donner Summit, we do look at Donner Trail Elementary separately. There are times when we call a snow day there but not anywhere else in the district.)

-We have to make the decision by 5:00 a.m. 

-It can leave some parents in a bind, especially if they have to be at work that day.

We will also consider delayed starts
A delay of two hours for all school schedules and bus schedules will be implemented when there has been significant snow during the night which ends or is expected to end by 5:00 a.m. A delayed start will allow more time for our partner agencies and private contractors to address snow removal and to ensure conditions are safe, without missing a full day of school. If we implement a “delayed start” it would be announced using our regular snow day notification process with calls going out to parents at 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. 

How we notify parents of a snow day: 

-The decision to call a snow day is made by 4:30  a.m. and this information is immediately updated on our snow phone, our website and in our TTUSD app. 

-Calls go out to parents at 6:00 a.m. (If you would like to be part of the earlier call group, please contact your school office.)

-A notification is also sent out through our mobile app. (Our free mobile app is a great way to stay in tuned with what’s happening throughout the district, including snow days. Click here for more info.)

Since we live in the mountains we have built in five snow days into the school year calendar. If there are more than five, those days are added to the school year calendar in the spring. If there are less than three, then they are deducted from the calendar.

All of our snow day information is posted on our website at www.ttusd.org. Click here for a detailed list of our snow day policies and procedures. 

Again, in the end, it’s all about safety, and we are confident that district parents share our concern.