Winter Weather: How We Make the Decision to Cancel School or Open Late
Dear Pennridge Community,
As the weather begins to turn colder, I wanted to provide some information on Pennridge School District procedures for making decisions on inclement weather days.
How is the decision made?
The Directors of Operations and Transportation and I all monitor various weather outlets and receive hourly reports from the National Weather Service. Multiple employees drive to monitor the situation in various areas of the District and provide information on road conditions, as well as the safety of bus stops and sidewalks.
Additionally, I work with the Superintendents of the Palisades and Quakertown School Districts. Our three districts often make the same decision, since we all send students to the Upper Bucks County Technical School.
When is the decision made?
There will be situations when the decision can be made the night before. In those cases, I will inform all families and staff no later than 10:00 p.m. If you have not heard by that time, you can know that the decision will not be made until the morning.
Decisions made in the morning will be communicated to you between 4:30 AM and 5:15 AM.
What about early dismissals?
Decisions regarding early dismissals will be made by 9:30 a.m. Depending on the forecast, the High School will close at 10:30 or 11:30, Middle Schools at 11:15 or 12:15, Guth and Sellersville at 11:45 or 12:45, Grasse, Seylar, and West Rockhill at 12:00 or 1:00, and Bedminster and Deibler at 12:15 or 1:15. Please make sure that your child knows their routine for any early dismissal.
How will the decision be communicated?
All emergency communications are posted to the website and sent via email, phone call, and text. In the event of a weather situation, the information is also provided to local radio and television stations and is posted on the district Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
We use contact information from your Power School Parent Portal Account for these communications. It is important to make sure that this information is accurate. You may view and edit this information through the “Demographic Change” tab in Power School. If you need additional assistance, please contact your child’s school.
Will we just use remote learning on snow days this year?
Not for the first couple. Our calendar has built-in snow make-up days and most of the students/staff in grade K-8 have not utilized remote learning this school year. In addition, many weather decisions cannot be made in advance and a snow day or two can be fun!
If we have multiple days of bad weather, we will consider utilizing remote learning for all students.
Do we have to make up days missed due to weather?
We are not required by the state to make up the two missed student days from the beginning of the year. Beyond that, our calendar currently has two potential snow make-up days scheduled for February 16, and April 5, 2021. These days will be used as school days if any weather cancellations occur before those dates.
Beyond the two snow make-up days, any missed days, if not completed remotely, may also be added to the end of the school year. Families are discouraged from scheduling any vacation for the week of June 14, 2021, since our current last day of school is Friday, June 11.
I know that some of you will not always agree with a weather decision that I make. Please know I am working from the best information available and will, in all situations, prioritize the safety of our students and staff.
My best to your family for a safe winter season.
David A. Bolton, Ed.D.