When severe weather affects school opening, the decision to open or close schools has a big impact on families. The following explains how school closing decisions are made and the methods we use to communicate in those situations.
How do we make school closing decisions?
The decision to open or close schools in bad weather is based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, including:
- Road conditions throughout our township streets.
- Amount of accumulated snow and ice and whether precipitation is expected to continue.
- Predicted timing of the snow and or ice.
- The condition of our 70+ busses used to provide transportation.
- Building conditions (e.g., do we have electricity and heat).
- Parking lot and sidewalk conditions.
- Information gathered from the township's Department of Public Works, Office of Emergency Management, Delaware County, and weather services.
Who makes the decision?
Dr. Maureen Reusche, Superintendent of Schools, makes the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from our facilities and transportation departments.
When is the decision made?
The decision is made by 5:00 AM or earlier so we can alert our staff and parents, post the information on the website, Twitter and advise TV stations.
How is the public notified?
We use multiple means to alert parents to weather-related school closings and delayed openings.
The school district website (www.www.haverford.k12.pa.us) and Twitter are the best sources for information on school closings and delayed openings; once a decision is made, the information is posted almost immediately on these sites.
These are sources for information regarding weather-related school closings, delays, and emergency announcements.
We use our District Notification System (School Messenger) to alert parents/guardians to weather-related school closings and delayed openings. We usually do not activate the system to call parents/guardians after 10:00 PM or before 5:30 AM. If a decision is made in between those times, it will be posted on the district website.
By using a variety of tools, we can be reasonably certain that every family will have access to school closing/delayed opening information.
What are the procedures for a delayed opening?
In the event of a delayed opening, the school schedule is delayed two hours:
- High School: 9:30 a.m. - 2:22 p.m.
- Middle School: 9:50 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.
- Elementary School: 10:35 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- AM Kindergarten - 10:35 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
- PM Kindergarten - 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Bus routes will begin two hours later than normal with the exception of afternoon kindergarten routes.
- Kindergarten buses will run during the times noted above. Buses will drop off AM kindergarten students between 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM. Pick up for PM kindergarten will be between 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM. The transportation department has developed routes and stops for delayed opening days. Please contact your school office for specifics about the transportation schedule as it relates to kindergarten students. Please remember that these schedules will only be used during school closings and delayed openings.
- Regular lunches will be available as scheduled.
What are the procedures for early dismissals?
Whenever possible, we will try to avoid the unscheduled early dismissal of students. We may dismiss high school and middle school students earlier to ensure that our buses can complete their secondary runs in time to pick up elementary students.
If a winter storm arrives earlier than expected or intensifies more quickly than anticipated, it may be necessary to dismiss elementary students early. *Please talk with your children about a contingency plan in the event of an early dismissal. Some children may have alternate plans if dismissed early.
We believe that our students are best served – both academically and socially – by being in school. As always, our top priority is the safety of our students.
Please remember that the decision to change school schedules due to inclement weather is based on the best information available when the decision is made; however, we can never be sure how the weather will affect our area. Even meteorologists disagree on weather predictions. The final decision about whether it is safe for a child to attend school rests with each parent.
We appreciate your patience and understanding in these matters.
Select the appropriate category to the left, to view delay schedules for your child's school. Please remember that these schedules will only be used during school closings and delayed openings.