School is cancelled Friday due to high wind, fire danger and planned power outages

September 7, 2022

Dear Santiam Community,

It is not easy writing this communication, but we have made the difficult decision to cancel school for Friday, Sept. 9. The National Weather Service is calling for conditions of ‘fire weather watch’ with high winds projected to begin Friday morning and increase into Friday afternoon, tapering off by Saturday afternoon. Due to this high wind, Pacific Power has also announced it will be cutting power to our area just after midnight Thursday evening, so we will not have power Friday into Saturday, and possibly longer.
We are working closely with Linn County and Marion County Emergency Management watching the weather coming in Friday and through the weekend. They are working on possibly setting up cooling centers, in case the high temps come and we are without power. More info on those could come out soon.
I don’t like cancelling school, especially the first week, but there are too many safety factors that play into this decision. First off, this event may be traumatizing for many who went through this two years ago and you want to hunker down with family. Also, the possibility of no power makes it difficult to see in dark classrooms and restrooms, prepare meals for students and most importantly, we can lose communication services which is a safety risk. Also, the high winds could pose safety risks for students needing to walk home or make roads unsafe for travel. All of this leads to one decision, the closing of school on Friday.
We hope that by announcing this now, you have time to plan for childcare for Friday and make any other safety arrangements. We are operating school tomorrow, Thursday. So, please send your wonderful kiddos tomorrow, but just to reiterate, school is cancelled for Friday. We are working to reschedule the Friday football game, but nothing is set yet.
It’s time again to Stand Together in the Canyon. Stay safe and please let us know if you have any questions or need anything.
Take care,
Todd Miller, Superintendent