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Transportation » Weather Related Protocol

Weather Related Protocol

Weather Related Protocol
TUSCARORA SCHOOL DISTRICT (TSD)
SCHOOL CLOSING PROTOCOL
 
During the school year there may be times when one or all of the schools may be closed.  In most cases school closures are the result of weather related conditions.  The TSD superintendent has developed guidelines pertaining to these closures and wanted to share them with you.  We recognize everyone looks at weather related closures from their own personal perspective, and there may be times you respectfully disagree with the District’s decision. 
 
The dynamics of the Tuscarora School District are unique to our area and should not be compared to those of other area school districts.  TSD has a very small percentage of students who walk to school.  All of our students that walk to school have short walks of less than 30 minutes.  TSD provides bus stops that are in close proximity to our students’ homes.  Most can see their bus stop from their house window.  Over 40% of the TSD student population qualifies for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, attending school allows these students to receive breakfast and lunch.  This concern is heightened, especially before a weekend, when students will not receive school meals for two days.
 
The TSD schools are safe, warm, and supervised.  Once here, we will be able to provide your child(ren) the excellent educational opportunities that you have come to expect from TSD each and every day.
 
The decision to close schools for any period of time is one we take very seriously here at TSD.  Please know any decision we make will be made with the safety of the children as our top priority.
 
Parents and students should assume that classes are in session at normal times unless notified otherwise.
 
School Closure Guidelines
 
Priority on Safety
During periods of inclement weather or in emergency situations, our first priority is the safety and welfare of our students and staff.  At the same time, the closing of school can be burdensome to families due to child care and work schedules.  We consider cancelling school to be an exception and we place a strong emphasis on keeping our schools open.  Some of the primary factors that are considered when making a decision include:
  • The safety and well-being of students and staff
  • Severity of the weather (extreme cold, excessive snow, flooding, etc.)
  • Timing of the weather events
  • The ability of buses and cars to travel safely
  • The operable condition of our buildings and grounds
 
Please know if school does remain open and you feel that conditions are unsafe for your child(ren) based on your individual circumstances, you may write a note and send it with them when they return to school.  Your child(ren) will be given an excused absence.  We trust our parents to be sincere in the use of this privilege.

Making the Decision
The TSD superintendent determines when and if conditions at one or more of the schools warrant the cancellation of school.  This decision is normally made in collaboration with other district administration, other area superintendents, local transportation contractors, local township supervisors, and the PA Department of Transportation depending on the condition.

The District’s data source is the National Weather Service (NWS) https://www.weather.gov/ as the primary meteorological source to determine and declare weather conditions such as snow forecasts or wind-chill advisories and warnings.
 
Notification to Our Parents
In the event of a school closing, delay, early dismissal or other emergency, parents can expect to receive an automated phone call and e-mail using the information from the district’s student information system.  It is the responsibility of the parent to keep this information up-to-date or to provide this information to your child’s school.  (This process was completed during registration, but must be updated if either a phone number or an e-mail is changed at any time during the course of the school year.)

School closure or delay decisions will normally be made before 5:30 a.m. the day of the closure as drivers start heading to bus garages around that time.  Weather conditions are monitored overnight to avoid unnecessary closures.  Closure decisions will only be made the night before if conditions are known for certain and warrant closure.  Parents should establish contingency plans for possible closures throughout the school year regardless of the season.
 
Emergency and closing information is also available through the following:
  • District Website
  • District Facebook Page
  • Mass Media Sources:
    • WIKZ 95.1 FM
    • WQCM 94.3 FM
    • WDLD 96.7 FM
    • WCHA 800 AM
    • WHAG 1410 AM
    • WCRH 90.5 FM
    • WAYZ 104.7 FM
    • WBHB 101.5 FM
    • WNUZ 92.1 FM
    • NBC TV 25
    • ABC 27
 
General Information Regarding School Cancellation
School may be cancelled due to weather conditions or other emergency conditions that would make the operation of school facilities unsafe.  In extreme conditions or due to large-scale damage, the superintendent may close all buildings and cancel all events.  General guidelines:
  • School may be cancelled for all school facilities or for an individual facility as necessary.
  • All after-school activities and field trips will be cancelled unless specifically announced by the school principal.
  • All student events will be cancelled unless specifically announced by the school principal.
  • Athletic events and practices will be cancelled unless specifically announced by the school principal.
 
Heavy Snow – School May Be Closed, Delayed or Dismissed Early
If we have heavy snow that creates conditions where the safety of students and staff are at risk, travel is prohibitive, or buildings cannot be prepared for a regular school day, then the Tuscarora School District schools will be closed.  Parents will be notified by all communication methods previously identified.  
 
Severe Cold - Two Possible Outcomes
Wind Chill Chart
Wind-Chill Warning – Schools May Be Closed
Schools may be closed under the condition of a wind-chill warning.  A wind-chill warning indicates life-threatening conditions and a risk to safety exist.  Measures should be taken to safeguard life and property immediately.  A Wind-chill warning is typically issued when the wind-chill will be -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder and the winds are greater than or equal to 10 mph OR the actual temperature is -15° F.
 
Classes will be cancelled and school closure protocols will be instituted.  All notification systems will be leveraged to send school cancellation communications to families.  Extracurricular activities will be cancelled.
 
Wind-Chill Advisory – Schools May Be Delayed
A wind-chill advisory is issued when conditions do not meet the wind-chill warning criteria but still cause significant inconvenience.  The weather during a wind-chill advisory is not life threatening but presents conditions that may result in inconvenience or pose moderate risk to safety.  A wind-chill advisory is typically issued when the wind chill is -20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder AND the winds are greater to OR equal to 10 mph.
 
Schools will be open but *delayed and student attendance is expected. 

*The delay would provide increased visibility of our students when they are outside waiting for a bus.
 
Extracurricular activities will be evaluated and may be suspended if conditions persist and all outside student activities will be suspended.
 
Again, whenever a decision is made to alter or cancel the school day, it is based on the general safety conditions for all students and staff.  The District recognizes that conditions may vary for each individual student or family.  As mentioned above, if you feel conditions are unsafe for your child(ren) based on your individual circumstances, you may write a note and send it with them when they return to school and your child(ren) will be given an excused absence as we trust our parents to be sincere in the use of this privilege.