Banks School District, News, Weather

Banks School District will release students early Friday in light of potential winter storm

Students will be released three hours early Friday, owing to forecasted snow.

The early release will start an already long weekend—school’s out on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day— early for students and staff.

In addition the the early release, all afternoon and evening school activities were cancelled, with many morning and afternoon buses on snow routes.

The district, in communication issued while the entire region is without electricity, said that the decision was made due to the timing of the forecast, which coincides with the afternoon commute and also due to the outlying higher elevations within the Banks School District.

While Banks proper is at a lower elevation, and could be hit with less snow, places like Timber, Hayward, and Green Mountain all have students living at elevations anticipated to be hit with much more significant snowfall than the valley floor.

“We understand that early releases can be an inconvenience, but the safety of our students and staff is our top priority,” the Banks School District said in a notice published Thursday afternoon. “We encourage everyone to plan accordingly and make the necessary arrangements.”

The district said that lunch would be made available to students prior to the early release.

The elementary school will be released at 11:45 a.m., while the middle and high schools will release at 12 p.m.

The Portland office of the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch that begins Friday afternoon and extends through late Saturday night.

“Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 8 inches possible. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph,” the weather agency said.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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