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School Closings and Delays

Access School Closure and Delay Information

Each year, the district faces the possibility of school closure or delay in start time due to weather, road conditions or other emergencies. Student safety is of primary concern.

In the event of a delay or closure, a telephone call and an email message will be sent to parents. Please be sure your contact information is up-to-date for your student.

Weather conditions (snow, flooding, power outages, etc.) may result in the decision to:

  • Operate on a normal schedule with snow routes
  • Operate on a two-hour delay with snow routes
  • Cancel school

In the event of weather related incidents, district personnel survey roads within the district early in the morning and decide whether students can safely reach school. If a closure or a delay in start time becomes necessary, beginning at 6:00 a.m., announcements will be made. Unless you hear an announcement to the contrary, you should assume that Ferndale School District will operate on schedule.

Unless a previous notice has been given, the district will not dismiss school early except when a definite safety or health factor is involved.

Connect to one of the technologies listed below to access district information about delays and closures.


Additional Notes

Should school be delayed in start time on an already scheduled early dismissal day, early dismissal will be canceled and schools will end on their regular schedule which are:

  • Beach Elementary 2:10PM
  • Cascadia, Central, Custer, Eagleridge and Skyline Elementaries 3:30PM
  • Horizon Middle 2:30PM
  • Vista Middle 2:27PM
  • Ferndale High 2:16PM

There is no developmental preschool (am or pm) on early release, half days, or delayed start days.

If there is a delay or closure, Ferndale Family Connections will operate under this schedule:

  • Two-Hour Delay: Classes will begin at 11:00 am. There will be no 9:00 am or 10:00 am classes.
  • Closure: There will be no classes.

Snow Routes

Buses may run behind schedule when fog, ice or snow conditions exist. Parents are urged to see that their children are adequately clothed so that waiting in cold weather will not be too uncomfortable. In the event of starting late on a given day, buses will maintain snow routes the entire day. If county officials close the road at which a bus stop is located, it will be the responsibility of the parent to provide transportation to school.

Please note, for McKinney-Vento and Foster transportation: If snow routes are in use and/or adjustments of school schedules take place due to weather (school cancellation, two-hour delay, etc.) in the Ferndale School District or any neighboring districts, out-of-district McKinney-Vento and Foster transportation will not take place on those days. All out-of-district transportation is canceled by both districts when either district is on snow routes, school is cancelled or on a delayed start due to weather.

Bus

If you live on the street below

Your bus will stop on the street below

2 Loomis Trail Road East of Valley View Roads Corner of Valley View and Loomis Trail
2 Portal Way North of Loomis Trail Road Corner of Portal Way & Loomis Trail Road
2 Valley View Road between Loomis Trail & Behme Roads Corner of Loomis Trail Road & Valley View Rd
9 Jess Road between Delta Line & Sunrise Roads Corner of Jess & Sunrise or Jess & Delta Line
9 Loomis Trail Road between Delta Line & Sunrise Corner of Delta Line and Loomis Trail
9 Sunrise/Delta Line/Burke N. of Badger/Haynie W. Badger Road or Sunrise Church @ old store
10 Conifer Corner of Enterprise & Conifer
19 Stein Road North of Haynie Road Corner of Stein and Haynie Roads21
21 Neptune Circle & Germaine Corner of Germaine and Sucia
22 North Star Road North of Brown Road Corner of North Star Road and Brown Road
31 Trigg Road East End Meet at Trigg Road & Portal Manor Drive
32 Kaas Road (during floods) Corner or Portal Way & Kaas Road
12 Aldrich between Lange & Larrabee Meet at church parking lot, 5353 Waschke
36 Fat Dog Lane off Aldrich *ELEMENTARY ROUTE* Meet at Bottom of the Hill
38 Arnie between Bruce & Ham Roads Corner of Bruce & Main
38 Double R Ranch Corner of Blaine Rd and Hitchcock Road
38 Grandview between Olson Road & Vista Roads Meet at Grange corner of Vista & Grandview Rd
3 Scott Rd Corner of Lummi Shore and Scott Rd
3 Heights Dr & Fieldview Dr Corner of Ferndale Terrace and Shannon Ave
52 Valley View Road between Bay & Arnie Roads Corner of Valley View Road & Bay Road
52 Valley View Road between Bay & Grandview Rd (High School and Middle School Only) Corner of Valley View Rd & Bay Road or Grandview Rd
52 Valley View Road between Bay & Grandview Rd (Elementary Only)

Corner of Valley View Rd & Grandview Rd

52 Bay Road (Elementary) Corner of Bruce Rd and Bay Rd
52 Olson Road between Fox & Grandview Roads Meet at Grange corner of Vista Dr & Grandview
1/22/3 Church Road & Hilltop, Crestline Corner of Ferndale Terrace and Shannon Ave
1 & 22 Along Church Road between Heights Dr & Cresent Meet at Lakeridge & Church Rd.
1 & 41 Storr Road North of Mt View Road Corner of Storr and Mt View Roads
10 & 20 Atwood Road Corner of Atwood & Grandview
10 & 20 Matz Road Corner of Matz and Enterprise
2 Birch Terrace (ALL) Corner of Birch Bay Lynden Rd & Percie Rd
27/44/51 Finkbonner Road Corner of Lummi View Road & Finkbonner Rd.
38 & 52 Everett Road South of Bay Road Corner of Bay and Everett
38 & 52 Ham Road-North & South of Bay Road Corner of Bay Road & Ham Road

Lummi Island FHS/Vista Students

Bus If you live on the street below

Your bus will stop on the street below

25 South of Sunrise, Seacrest and Lummi Island Mountain Meet at Sunrise and Seacrest @ 6:15-6:20 **all proceeding stops will be at regular times
25 South of Sunrise, Seacrest and Lummi Island Mountain Meet at Sunrise and Seacrest @ 7:20-7:30 **all proceeding stops will be 10 minutes earlier

FAQs

Decisions made in the dark, pre-dawn hours about whether or not to delay or cancel school due to weather conditions affect the lives of thousands of people. Therefore, they are never made lightly.
 
The first priority is always student safety, followed very closely by the safety of parents and staff.  We want to make certain that our buses; our student walkers; and all of our parent, staff, and student drivers can get to all of our schools over roads that are clear enough to allow safe arrival. The County and City road crews do a great job helping with this, but often other factors come into play, like calculating the amount of time children will need to be out in the cold and wet waiting for a bus and the safety of walking routes for those who come to school on foot.
 
The decision making process starts early. At 3:30 am, designated district staff start driving area roads. While sometimes our district team consults with colleagues in neighboring districts, each school district must ultimately make its own call, because conditions can vary greatly from one district to another and even from one neighborhood to another.
 
Staff assess the severity of the current conditions and, as importantly, the timing of any imminent weather changes. An overnight storm whose intensity comes during commuter hours is different than an evening front that gives ample time for snow plows to clear streets by dawn. A big accumulation of wet snow followed by warming temperatures requires different consideration than ice-packed roads and successive days of sub-freezing temperatures. A number of factors go into the decision. One that doesn’t factor in is the number of snow days already called during the year. The decision is only about safety.
 
To activate all of the notification systems in time to prevent anyone from starting out on dangerous roads, the decision to delay or cancel has to be made no later than 5:00 am. As soon as it is made, the media are contacted and the information is posted on the district website. At approximately 6:00 am, an automated call is sent to all staff and parents.
 
Some days, the decision about whether or not to call a snow day is clear. Icy conditions or widespread snow accumulations on roads throughout the district make for brief deliberations. Other times, the decision is not so easy, as when the forecast indicates the worst weather will occur after our students have arrived at school.
 
On days that school must be closed, we start with the assumption that all activities scheduled for the afternoon and evening will be cancelled or rescheduled as well. On occasion, we make exceptions for after-school or evening meetings or activities, but these are rare and generally occur when weather conditions have improved throughout the day.
 
Sometimes we decide to start school one or two hours later than usual rather than canceling altogether. Late starts are called when we believe the roads will clear up in time to run school for most of the day. Late starts allow students to make their way to school in daylight instead of dark, which is much safer. Late starts also give bus drivers extra time to prepare their buses for driving in winter conditions. In late-start situations, we communicate the delay as quickly as possible in the same ways we do for snow days. 
 
On rare occasions and as a last resort, we may dismiss school early to ensure all of our students get home safely. When these end-of-day schedule changes have to be made, we will communicate immediately via our all-call and email systems.
 
The final decision about whether to close school or delay its start is made by the superintendent based on input from her team. We always want students in classrooms for instruction, and we are mindful of the inconvenience that working parents must manage when we are closed. However, we are focused on the safety of our students, parents, and staff when we make decisions about closing school. We know we will not make every decision perfectly. However, you can be assured that safety will always be our top priority.

The state of Washington requires schools to provide 180 school days and a minimum of 1,000 hours of instruction in each school year. Therefore, when a day is cancelled due to weather, it must be made up.
 
The Ferndale School District will make up snow days at the end of the school year in June. As of December 20, we have not yet had a snow day during the 2019-20 school year.
 
A state law provides limited exceptions to the 180-day law under certain conditions. When a school district experiences an excessive number of closures due to inclement weather, the superintendent can apply for up to three waiver days, which may or may not be granted. Waiver days apply to students but not staff. Staff are required to make up all days missed.
 
When school starts one or two hours late due to inclement weather, these hours generally do not have to be made up because we still meet the 1,000-hour rule.