School Closure and delay Information
School Emergency Closure and delay information phone number: 208-263-2312
Please note: the system can only answer three lines at a time. The system automatically hangs up when the message is completed. The message is kept brief, so the next caller can get through.
How Do School Closures and delays Work?
Making a Determination about Closures and Delays-
When there is heavy snowfall, road conditions are the primary factor in the district's decision about closure. If snow is forecast, we are up at 3 AM to monitor the local road conditions and weather using the National Weather Service (NOAA) for an up-to-the-minute update for our specific area. We also use the latest radar imagery and visual reports from our bus drivers in different parts of our district.
Any closure or delay decision needs to be made no later than 5:30 AM to allow the district phone trees to take effect and for the media to be contacted. The first buses leave the shop about 5:30 AM and cooks start arriving shortly thereafter. Past history tells us that closing schools based on a forecast is risky business. Therefore, the forecast, plus visuals from different areas in the district, help us make the determination. By using all the data at our disposal, we can make an informed decision.
Some areas in the district have the potential to accumulate considerable amounts of snow while other areas may receive little or none. For example, areas in the northern part of the district receive upwards of 5 inches while in Sandpoint and Clark Fork it might be raining. We receive calls stating that the roads are bad and we shouldn't be driving on them. Bad roads in the winter are a fact of life in North Idaho. We will not put kids at risk, but we will transport students when the roads are not optimal. As we do in our personal lives, we drive with a little more caution. It should be noted that, our LPOSD transportation department has one of the best safety records in the state.
School Closures/Inside Recess-
Over the years, schools in the Lake Pend Oreille School District have been closed for a variety of safety reasons. However, the primary reasons for school closures can be bitter cold temperatures, power outages and/or heavy snow. Defining “bitter cold” is as uncertain as the weather itself. Temperature alone is not a true measuring stick; wind chill plays a major role in that determination.
As a rule of thumb, we consider a closure when the ambient temperature drops below minus ten. While we are concerned with students during recess, we also consider conditions for the students waiting for the bus in the morning or walking home in the afternoon. Windchill is not taken into consideration because it fluctuates so much during the day. Please note that families always have the right to keep their students home.
2 Hour Delayed Start-
A delayed start will be utilized if road conditions are expected to improve mid-morning. On delayed start days, school will begin exactly 2 hours after the regular start time for students. Busses will utilize regular routes and stops. Morning bus pickup times will also reflect a 2 hour delay. However, release will be consistent with normal bell schedules. Finally, school breakfast will still be available for students on these days.
Other Important Information-
The district is allowed 3 emergency closures per year from the state. All school districts are required by Idaho Code to have a specific number of instructional hours in the yearly calendar. If school closures cause the district to go below the minimums established, the time must be made up. Districts are not penalized monetarily by the state for school closures.
Please remember, that parents have the ultimate decision whether to send their children to school or keep them home. For information about school closures call the LPOSD school closure hotline at 208-263-2312, listen to local radio, tune in to regional television stations, or check social media for school closure information.
Text Messaging Alert
If you would like to receive text messages alerting you of school emergencies and closures, you have to first make sure that your information is in our School Messenger contact database. If it is not, you can sign up by using this registration link with LPOSD84 as the Site Access Code. You will be emailed a confirmation code that you must use to complete registration. Once registered you have to add your phone to your account settings by logging in subscriber link. Once logged in, click on Add More under Contacts, enter your phone number and follow the instructions. You can login at any time to modify your settings.
Once your device is in our database, you must "Opt-In" to receive receive text message alerts.
To "Opt-In", Text "Y" to 67587 from each wireless device you wish to receive alerts on.
To "Opt-Out", Text "STOP" to 67587 and alerts will stop coming to that device.
When you text to 67587, you should receive a confirmation message back.
For updates, refer to the following television and radio stations:
KICR - 102.3 FM
KBFI - 1450 AM
KXLY - 920 AM
KPBX - 91.1 FM