Frequently Asked Questions about Weather Delays, Closings and Early Dismissals
How is the decision made to delay or close school?
The determination as to whether school is delayed or closed typically begins around 4:30 a.m. School district employees assess the conditions by driving our attendance areas. After evaluating the weather and road safety, the staff members discuss conditions. The assessment is reported to the superintendent, along with reports from other area schools and any law enforcement officials they have contacted. The superintendent reviews all of the information and generally makes the decision to close or delay school by 5:45 a.m. If conditions warrant, the district may call a delay or cancellation the night prior.
A two-hour delay is scheduled only if the district believes that conditions may clear up enough to ultimately have school. To ensure the conditions have improved sufficiently to have school, district employees begin a second assessment and reports findings to the superintendent. Parents should continue to monitor their phones or TV and radio stations in case conditions do not sufficiently improve and warrant closing of school for the day.
How is the decision made to implement an early release?
On occasion, there may be days when weather conditions are safe for travel in the morning but hazardous by the time of Delaware’s normally scheduled dismissals. When this is the case, district administrators will consider an early dismissal option. Implementing an early dismissal in a district our size is a complicated process that must take into account several factors, including the possibility of sending younger students home before their parents can return and buses conduct two runs (one for high school/middle school and one for elementary students).
Because of these factors, the district will generally make a decision to implement an early release by 12:00 (noon). This gives the district adequate time to notify bus drivers and parents of the decision. In the case of an early release, parents will also receive an automated phone call to their emergency contact number if one is on file with the school and through their school email listserv. If the district decides not to implement an early dismissal, parents may choose to pick up their students early without attendance consequences.
How will parents be notified about school delays, closings and early releases?
The district will utilize the automated call/text system (School Messenger) to notify families of weather-related delays, closings and early releases. The call system is not fail-proof and families are encouraged to check a second source if the weather is questionable. The district also immediately updates the district website and local media of the decision. In addition, a message will be posted to the district Facebook and Twitter pages.
If the district is on a delay, can I drop my student off at the normal time?
No, the district does not have supervisory personnel on duty on mornings of a delay so no one would be available to monitor students. The school age child care (SACC) program will also operate on a two-hour delay for families who are enrolled in morning SACC.
How can I prepare for weather delays, closings and early releases?
The district recognizes that school delays, closings and early releases may interfere with regular family routines. Your child will adjust better to the changes if you have a family plan for each scenario in place and have discussed it with your child in advance. The district will make every effort to make its decision as early as possible to allow maximum notification for families.
The following are some of the most common scenarios for school delays, closings and early releases:
School Delays – 2-hour delay
A delayed start allows time for the conditions of our roads, sidewalks and buildings to be improved so that we can safely transition our students and staff or for the weather to improve, along with other considerations discussed below. A medium snowstorm overnight or a frigid overnight that looks to get a little better with time are examples of when we might utilize a delay. When we make a decision to delay school, we consider factors including the added safety of traveling in daylight, the impact of sunshine helping to reduce the impact of low windchills, extra time to start and warm our diesel buses to make sure they can all run their routes as close to posted times as possible, and time to check and prepare our facilities.
When a 2-hour delay is in effect, parents should continue to monitor their phone and/or local media for further updates in case conditions do not sufficiently improve and school is canceled.
• Start times are delayed 2 hours at all school locations.
• Preschool will be held using the adjusted schedule.
• SACC will also operate on a 2-hour delay.
• Bus service to St. Mary and Delaware Area Career Center is delayed 2 hours.
The decision to close is made when it looks like dangerous travel or weather conditions are going to persist or worsen in such a way that it does not appear that transitioning our students and staff from home to school and back again is advisable. We are always reluctant to close our schools because of the serious impact it has on families and learning. Closings will generally be reserved for heavy snow, power/heat outages or extremely cold temperatures/windchills in the negative double digits Fahrenheit.
• All schools are closed
• School age child care (SACC) is closed
• No bus service to St. Mary or Delaware Area Career Center
• School activities and parent meetings/conferences are canceled. Note: In accordance with Ohio Capital Conference policies, high school athletic contests may be held if the weather conditions improve and conditions are deemed safe for travel later in the day.
Early Dismissal (Unscheduled due to weather or school emergency)
On occasion, there may be days when weather conditions are safe for travel in the morning but become hazardous by the time of Delaware’s normally scheduled dismissals. When this is the case, district administrators will consider an early dismissal.
• Schools will be released at pre-determined times to ensure the timely and safe transportation of our students. Buses may be running late due to road conditions. Please be flexible.
• School age child care (SACC) will not be available and parents should make arrangements to pick their child up from school at the announced closing time.
• School activities and parent meetings/conferences are canceled.