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Schools have plans in place to inform parents, students when winter weather forces closures

When bad weather makes for unsafe travel conditions, area schools might alter the day's schedule.

Because ice inevitably melts with warmth from the sun, some inclement weather days might delay school start times. When the weather is so bad that even the kiss of the sun can't tame it, school might be canceled altogether.

The Mabton School District uses a flash alert system to notify all area radio and television stations within Yakima and Benton counties to relay the information to the district's students and staff.

Residents living in the Grandview School District area will be notified via a school messenger program; they will receive a call playing a pre-recorded message telling students and parents what the plans for the day are.

District officials say it is important to ensure parents have correct contact information on file. Also, Grandview says if school is delayed, for example, two hours, then buses will also be two hours behind.

In addition, Grandview plans to notify area radio and television stations. District officials encourage residents to tune in to find out when or if school will begin.

When inclement weather requires the Sunnyside School District to either delay or cancel schools, officials work to notify parents in a variety of ways.

When a decision is made to cancel or delay school, a greeting on the emergency information line, (509) 836-8404, is immediately changed to give detailed information on closure or delay.

The district also utilizes a school messenger system to send an automated call to notify parents of a delay or closure.

"It takes about 30 minutes for the system to call about 6,800 numbers," said Curtis Campbell, director of executive services for the district.

Campbell said the district then alerts radio and television media outlets, including KDNA 91.9, KZXR 1310, KMNA 101.7, UROCK 93.7, KONA 610, KZHR 92.5, KORD 102.7, KBBO 980, KXDD 104.1, KATS 94.5, KFFM 107.3, KBDL 92.9, and on Yakima and Tri Cities affiliate television stations of ABC, NBC and CBS.

Sunnyside also updates its district Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sunnysideschools) with current closure or delay information.

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