Soon the winter season will be here and there will be times that a determination will need to be made to delay or close school. While I understand that the decision to open or close school in bad weather has a major effect on families, the top priority is always the safety of our students. Please understand that the decision to open or close school is based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as:
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff and from the police;
- Amount of snow and ice accumulated;
- Temperature and wind chill;
- Building conditions (such as whether we have electricity and heat); and
- Consultation with neighboring school districts.
As Superintendent, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from our transportation providers and our local police departments. Every effort is made to make the decision as soon as possible.
Our School Messenger notification system will be utilized first to generate a telephone call message to your home or mobile phone, an email message, and a text message, depending on your preferences. You should have received multiple notifications from both your building principal and the District this year; if you have not received e-mails, text messages, or phone calls, please reach out to Sarah Welch, Coordinator of Communications & Public Relations, via e-mail at email@example.com.
In addition, we will also update our website, www.kosd.org, and our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts with delay or closing information. You can also tune in to KDKA-TV, WTAE-TV, and WPXI-TV.
Keep in mind that even if weather conditions worsen, the decision to delay or cancel school cannot be reversed in the morning without jeopardizing the safety of the students. Once the decision is made to open the schools, many parents rely on the decision and leave for work.
Although I will do my absolute best in this process, I know that often no perfect decision exists. If you do not feel as though it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best judgement on whether he or she should attend. Also, please discourage teenagers from driving in bad conditions.
I hope that this explanation helps everyone understand the process used to make the best possible decision.
William P. Stropkaj, Ed.D.
A few additional reminders in the event of a closing or delay:
- Breakfast is served on days when a two-hour delay is in place.
- In the event of a closing, the elementary rotation day will be held the next day that school resume. For example, if school is closed on Thursday, January 4, 2018, which is Day #5 in the rotation, that day will be held when school resumes and the rest of the rotation schedule will shift.
- In the event of a closing, the Middle School rotation day is skipped for the day that school is closed.