Planning Ahead for Winter Weather: District Plans for Remote Learning, Delays, and Early Dismissals

When deciding whether to switch to remote learning, delay classes, or dismiss school early, there are multiple factors to be considered, but always at the forefront of our decision-making process is the safety of our children and District staff members.
 
Switching to Remote Learning
Unless there is an announcement, assume school is in session, in-person, as usual. Typically, a decision to close schools and switch to remote learning is made prior to 5:45 a.m. or when at all possible the evening before. However, there have been cases where the weather worsened during the morning hours, and a decision was made slightly later than the 5:45 a.m. goal.
 
In addition to avoiding the risks associated with students, families, and staff traveling on the roads, we believe the best and least disruptive way to provide continuous learning in the event of inclement weather is to shift to remote learning when weather or other conditions necessitate a school closing. 
 
When a weather-related remote learning day is used, it is not necessary to make-up the student day later in the school year. Make-up days are still built into the school calendar to be used should internet, power, or other circumstances make it necessary to cancel all classes on a given day.
 
Weather-Related Remote Learning Zoom Schedules
On weather-related remote learning days, students will follow a modified schedule with teacher-led, Zoom classes. 

Elementary - Morning Kindergarten and Grades 1-5 will begin classes at 9:30 a.m. with a morning meeting. Afternoon Kindergarten will begin at 11:05 a.m. KAP will be held on remote learning days. Elementary students will end classes by 12:30 p.m. Zoom links will be provided by teachers via Seesaw. If you have any specific questions about the Zoom link to be used, please contact your child's teacher.   
Middle School - Middle school classes will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 12:28 p.m. Select music ensembles will be held from 12:30-1:00 p.m. The Zoom schedule and links will be provided via Schoology. Students should contact their teacher(s) with questions regarding the Zoom link. 
High School - High School students in music ensembles will begin at 9:00 a.m. and all other students will begin at 9:30 a.m. Zoom links will be provided by teachers via Schoology. Students, if you have any specific questions about the Zoom link to be used, please contact your teacher.
 
Special Education - Students in our Special Education program can anticipate additional information from their teacher(s) regarding their schedule for the day.

ExCEL Virtual Learning Academy/CAOLA - Students will follow their regular schedule.
 
Cumberland Perry Area Career and Technical Center - Students will not have face-to-face instruction and should refer to information provided by CPACTC relative to their work expectations for the day.

Technology Assistance
– Our Technology Department has resources available online to assist students and families successfully utilize Zoom, Seesaw, Schoology, Clever, and PowerSchool. Click here to visit the Instructional Technology Help Center.


Two-Hour Delays
We plan to continue utilizing a two-hour delay schedule if/when possible, particularly when we are confident that we can safely open schools after a delay. If the decision is made to call a two-hour delay, schools will open two hours after normal start times, and buses will run two hours later than normal route times.
 
Kindergarten students will follow a modified schedule during a two-hour delay, with morning kindergarten held from 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and afternoon kindergarten from 12:45-3:30 p.m. Breakfast will not be available at the elementary level following a delayed start to the school day.
 
Please note, there may be cases where the weather worsens during the morning hours, and a decision is made to switch to remote learning with classes beginning at 9:30 a.m. for all grade levels. In these instances, a decision to switch to remote learning will be made no later than 7:30 a.m.
 
 
Early Dismissals
On days when it is necessary to dismiss school early, middle and high schools will dismiss first. To the best of our ability, we will provide families with as much advance notice as possible to plan for childcare and to mitigate the impact of lost instructional time for students. However, it is important for families to be prepared, so please make sure your child understands when you expect them to return home, or to the home of a trusted neighbor, in the event of an early dismissal.
 
 
Communication
Once a decision has been made, we will use several communication avenues to notify parents, students, and staff as quickly as possible.
 
Automated Phone and Text Message System - Notification will be sent to all home telephone numbers, cell phone numbers, work numbers, and e-mail addresses. A text message will also be sent to parents who have opted-in to the service. If you have not received phone calls or text messages from the District this school year, please contact your child's school to ensure the District has your correct contact information.
 
District Website - Closing information will always be posted on the opening page of the West Shore School District website.
 
Social Media – Information will be shared on the District’s twitter, facebook, and instagram accounts. You can follow these pages by searching for the account @WestShoreSD. 
 
Please note, due to the time needed for our automated system to process email and phone messages, there may be some instances in which the information is available via text and on social media before you receive a call or email from the District. 

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