The winter season will soon be here and there will be times that the Keystone Oaks School District may need 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
For students that attend Parkway West Career & Technical Center:
- On days when the High School DOES NOT have classes and Parkway West IS IN SESSION, students will be transported as per the bus passes sent home, with the following change: Bus Number 7 or 8 - A.M. Morning Parkway students will be taken to their stops when returning from Parkway classes.
- On days where the District IS ON A TWO-HOUR DELAY but Parkway IS NOT, our students WILL attend Parkway. Anytime that Parkway is on a two-hour delay, our students WILL NOT attend Parkway
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.