Skip to main content

City HillMiddle School

Preparing for winter weather

It's that time of year where we begin to get ready for winter weather and related school disruptions. ❄️

➡️ We have added a new option this year. In addition to our normal 2-hour delayed opening, we will have the option of a 3-hour delay.

We do not expect to use the new option regularly. However, it could mean the difference between having a school day and having to cancel.

We will be very clear when we announce a delay to specify the length. Again, we anticipate most delays will be 2-hours.

We are hoping for a quiet winter season with very few disruptions. ☺️

Have you ever wondered how we make the decision on whether to close or delay school for adverse weather? 

Here's a Winter Weather Decision-Making Guide:

Factors weighed when deciding to close school:

  1. Safety is always the first and most important consideration.
  2. Loss of instructional time
  3. Family inconvenience and childcare issues.
  • The district contracts with a weather service meteorologist who coordinates conversations between districts.
  • As soon as dangerous weather is forecast, the superintendent begins to monitor the weather and the advice of the meteorologist.
  • The timing of the weather is a huge consideration...
    • When is the dangerous weather going to begin?
    • How will it likely impact the road conditions?
    • What is the certainty of the forecast?
  1. The first step is to consult with our police department about road conditions.
  2. The next is to consult the borough street department and our own plowing vendor about the clearing efforts of the streets, sidewalks and school parking lots.
  3. We also check in with our custodial crew who are busy clearing and salting the sidewalks for our schools.
  4. The next step is to consult with area superintendents.
The question at the core of the decision: Are the roads, sidewalks, and parking lots safe?
  • We have teen drivers out on the roads before 7 a.m., often before the sun has time to melt the ice or snow.
  • Our busses begin before 6 a.m., so we have to make a decision by 5:30 a.m. if we are going to close or delay schools.

Timing

"My preference is to make the decision as early as possible so families can make accommodations. This is not always possible as forecasting in the Northeast tends to change hourly. With high confidence events, I can make a call early. If the certainty of the timing or intensity of the storm is suspect, the decision will be delayed, most often it will be made in the wee hours of the morning." - Superintendent Sharon Locke