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Annual Winter Weather Notification from Superintendent Smith

November 17, 2021

Dear Families,

The weather outlook this winter is calling for above average moisture and below average temperatures.  This forecast means that we may be encountering multiple occasions where we may be forced to call a two-hour late start or even cancel school due to hazardous road conditions.  Please know that these decisions are not made lightly. They are always based on our students being able to travel safely to and from school as well as our ability to sustain a warm and safe environment for your child while they are in our care.  Please be assured that when these decisions are made, the District consults with other entities that may include: Durham Transportation Services, Pend Oreille County Public Works Department, the City of Newport, Pend Oreille Utility District, Pend Oreille County Department of Emergency Management, and the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office.     

In the event that we do have to call for a two-hour late start or school cancellation, we will notify you via Blackboard Connect. You will receive a text message, phone message, and/or an email.  When the Blackboard Connect message is sent, our local news stations (KHQ, KREM, and KXLY) are also notified and will display this information.  Please ensure that you have updated your personal information (phone numbers and email addresses) with your child’s school so that you will receive all district Blackboard Connect notifications.  

  • Stratton Elementary School 447-0656
  • Sadie Halstead Middle School 447-2426 
  • Newport High School 447-2481  

For families with children riding the bus to and from school: the transportation department has created “Limited Snow Routes” for the occasion that the County is able to clear ONLY the main roads and NOT side roads. Families who live on these routes will be notified when buses are only running on limited snow routes via Blackboard Connect. Please call Durham School Services at 447-0505 if you are unsure where your snow route stop is located (Please note that the Limited Snow Routes are also listed on the Newport School District website, under “Quick Links” then “Bus/Snow Routes” ).   

We understand that arrangements need to be made by families if the school district is forced to start late or cancel.  We will make every effort to make these calls as early as we can when we know that hazardous conditions will persist throughout the night and into the next day.  In addition, while we use multiple resources and make every effort to predict if conditions will make for unsafe travel, we may experience an event - such as rain turning into freezing rain - while buses are already in-route to pick up students.  Please know that we understand and support your decision as parents to either keep your child home or bring them to school later, when traveling conditions improve.  All weather related absences will be excused.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.



David E. Smith, Jr., Ed.D


Newport School District

(509) 447-3167