School Delay/Closure Notice
August 1, 2023
We take the responsibility of delaying or canceling school very seriously. Please know that we will not interrupt the educational process due to weather and/or other emergency circumstances unless we feel it is absolutely necessary.
Our number one concern is the safety of children. We depend upon the experience of our bus contractor to keep us informed concerning the ability of buses to travel the roads. The process of checking road conditions begins very early in the morning. From that information, a judgment is made to delay school, cancel school, or initiate an online learning day. If we receive advance warning of a severe storm, and have sound information that it will arrive, we may cancel classes or arrange for an online learning day so that children do not arrive at school and become stranded.
On days when our buildings will be closed because of cold weather, ice, snowfall, or other emergency circumstances, all students may engage in online learning from home. Students will have opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous learning. They will be asked to sign in to their Google Classroom (pre-K-grade 5) and/or Schoology course pages (grades 6-12) at the beginning of their normal school day to view their schedule. We ask that students please take some time to review these platforms. Our technology teams will staff virtual help desks to aid students and staff members who need technical assistance. Students and staff members should check the email received from the school district on the morning of the virtual instruction day for information on how to log in to obtain virtual technical assistance. Parents and guardians should continue to utilize the Community Help Desk via www.fcasd.edu for assistance.
Parents/guardians should discuss what their children should do in case of an early dismissal. If there is an early dismissal, children will be sent home on buses. The high school students will be dismissed first, followed by the middle school and Hartwood Elementary students, and then the remainder of the elementary students. This order of dismissal is utilized so that older children can be at home when their younger brothers and sisters arrive. Parents/guardians should plan with their children how they wish to handle an early dismissal.
Buses may be unable to make it to the regular drop-off point. If that occurs, the driver will radio the bus garage and inform the school.
If the driver is able to see the bus stop and observe the children walk to the bus stop, the driver will allow the children to disembark from the bus to walk to their normal drop-off point. Parents should encourage their children to stand away from the side of the snow-covered roads and to use extreme caution at all times.
If the driver cannot make it to the drop-off point, he/she will radio the bus garage and inform the school. School personnel will then attempt to contact the parents/guardians. If the parents/guardians cannot be notified, the children will be taken back to school.
In the event that buses do not arrive at school on schedule at dismissal time, the children will be kept in the school. There are emergency provisions in each of the buildings, and the students will be fed if they are stranded at school.
Parents/guardians of all children must have already completed emergency contact information as part of the mandatory PowerSchool student update through the PowerSchool parent portal. This information will help school personnel know whom to contact in the event of an emergency or weather-related early dismissal. The information should include the parents’/guardians’ emergency telephone numbers where someone can always be contacted.
Please be sure that your children are dressed for the weather. When there is a threat of snow and the wind chill is low, children should have hats, coats, boots, and gloves to wear.
Please remember that we are making a decision based on what is best for the entire school district. That decision may not always seem like the best decision for your section of the school district but may be appropriate for another area. The school district covers an area of approximately 36 square miles, so there are times when roads will be clear in one section and treacherous in other areas. All roads are not treated or cleared at the same time, which can result in bus delays.
When there is a school delay, cancellation, or early dismissal, parents/guardians in the district will receive a phone call via the district’s school messaging system. Additionally, an announcement will be placed on the district’s website at www.fcasd.edu, as well as on social media. Please note that during a power outage, it may not be possible to place an announcement on the district’s website and/or social media. Delay, cancellation, and/or early dismissal announcements will also be placed on the following television stations: KDKA, WPXI, and WTAE.
It is also important to note that if school is canceled and student makeup days are necessary, they will be added on to the end of the school year, beginning June 7, 2024.