Parents & Community » Winter Weather Information

Winter Weather Information

Delays and Closures

Our district administration and staff understand that our decision to open and close schools during inclement weather has a large impact on families. We also understand that our students are better served, both academically and socially by being in school. However, as always, our top priority is the safety of our students and staff.

What Does the Information Mean?

  • School Closure: Schools are closed for the day due to weather or emergency. In this scenario, the school building will not be used. In the event of a school closure, all afternoon/evening programs and activities are also canceled.
  • Two- Hour Delay Start: School will begin 2-hours later than their normal start time. In this scenario, buses will run two hours later than normal schedule but will take extra precautions, such as using alternate routes and slower traveling speeds. This may cause added bus delays. A delayed start decision can turn into a full school closure. Please note that there will be no breakfast served on delayed start days.
  • Early Closure: While rare, schools may close early due to weather or emergency. Unless otherwise noted, all afternoon/evening programs and activities are canceled.
No news means no change.

Delayed Start Times

  • Elementary schools will start at 9:55 am for students grades K - 5th 
  • Middle School students will start at 10:00 am.  *If a delay falls on a Late Start Wednesday, school will start at 10:00 am as normal
  • The Dalles High School students will start at 10:00 am.  
  • Innovations Academy students will start at 10:00 am.  
  • Mosier Community School students will start at 9:30 am
***Please note that breakfast in the classroom is not served on delayed start days.

How to find out if there is a delay to the start of the school day, an early release or school closure

Notification about delays/closures are typically shared early on the morning of the change; the goal is to make the decision and begin notifications by 5:30 a.m.

North Wasco County school district will announce delays/closures will be published as below:

  • Delay and/or closure information will be posted on the District’s main website page:
  •  Flashalert will be notified (TV banners - we are listed as North Wasco County Schools). 
  • The Communications Director will send out a district wide ParentSquare  message to families.  
  • An email will be sent out to all district staff from the District Office. 
  • Information will be posted on the District’s Facebook 
  • Information will be sent for announcement on local radio stations (KACI, KODL, KYYT, KZAS (Radio Tierra) and KIHR).  
  • Communication will be sent to: school board members, law enforcement agencies, Columbia Gorge ESD, CG Community College, Headstart, Dufur SD, St. Mary’s Academy, Mosier Community School, and District 21 Emergency Contact List.
  • Voicemail messages on school building office phones will be switched by the IT Dept. to reflect the delay or closure. Messages will be in both English and Spanish. 

Emergency Alerts

Be sure to sign up for ParentSquare. This is our district's primary method of communication.

Ensure that your child's emergency contact information is accurate and current with your child's school.

ParentSquare will be used to alert families in the case of an emergency such as an evacuation or a lockdown. This notification will be sent AFTER students and staff have been secured and emergency responders have been notified.

How Delay, Early Release or Closure Decisions are Made During Inclement Weather Events

When there is the potential for winter storm weather the district transportation director is out early in the morning surveying the roads. The superintendent is in contact with our facilities team, as well as staff at the county and city road departments to gather current information about the roads. The decision to open, delay or close schools in bad weather is based on careful analysis of relevant information such as:

  • Existing road conditions across the county and city. We must give careful consideration to the most weather-impacted roads in the district; they can be treacherous even if your street or road looks clear.
  • Amount of snow and ice that has accumulated, whether it will continue, and the amount of time required for road crews to clear the county and city roads.
  • Temperature and windchill.
  • Weather predictions – the district prefers not making decisions based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate; however, weather predictions are considered in combination with existing weather and road conditions.
  • School parking lots and sidewalk conditions.
  • Will the current conditions likely improve or deteriorate based on the forecasted weather.

Parent Choice

For many of our students, school is the safest place to be during inclement weather. In many cases, both parents and/or guardians work outside the home. Schools provide a warm, supervised environment for children. However,  If you do not feel that it is safe for your child to get to school use your best judgment whether or not they should attend. As per district policy, an excused absence will be accepted if a parent chooses to keep their student home. If you choose to keep your child at home, please call the school to excuse your child’s absence.


As per District policy, an excused absence will be accepted by the District
if parents choose to keep their student home.
For information on transportation and school bus snow routes click below:
If you do not currently receive alerts via our ParentSquare communication system, you can sign-up to join our Community Group for weather-related updates here.