Important Inclement Weather Information - Updated February 2

Message sent February 2, 2022
 
Good afternoon West Shore students, staff, and families,
 
Punxsutawney Phil says we should expect six more weeks of winter and local meteorologists are forecasting inclement weather again this week. It seems inevitable that we will have a few more weather-related remote learning days this school year.
 
With that in mind, today I am sharing updated student schedules to be used in the event of a weather-related remote learning day. These schedules will be used for all future remote learning days resulting from weather. However, our scheduled remote days like the one planned for Friday, February 18, will continue to be asynchronous and without teacher-led instruction.
 
I would like to thank families and staff who submitted feedback following the two instances when we had to switch from a two-hour delay to a remote learning day on very short notice. It was with your suggestions that the revised schedules were developed.
 
New Weather-Related Remote Learning Schedules
Effective immediately, in-person students (Grades K-12) will begin classes at 9:30 a.m. on days when they are learning from home due to inclement weather. This later start will allow parents and staff additional time in the morning to prepare for instruction without creating the need to extend the school day past 1 p.m. at any level. Due to concerns that students may find it challenging to log back on for classes after a lunch break, we felt this was important when developing the revised schedules.
 
Elementary - Students will follow a modified schedule with teacher-led, online classes and specials. Zoom links will be provided by teachers via Seesaw. 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. All elementary students will end classes by 12:30 p.m. If you have any specific questions about the Zoom link to be used, please contact your child's teacher.   
Middle and High School - Students will follow a modified schedule with teacher-led, online classes. Zoom links will be provided by teachers via Schoology. Middle and High School students will begin at 9:30 a.m. If you have any specific questions about the Zoom link to be used, please contact your child's teacher.
 
Students in our Special Education program can anticipate additional information from their teacher(s) regarding their schedule for the day.
 
Cumberland Perry Area Career and Technical Center (CTC) students will not have face-to-face instruction. Students should refer to information provided by CTC relative to their work expectations for the day.
 
ExCEL Virtual Learning Academy and CAOLA Students will follow their regular schedule.
 
 
Once again, thank you for your support and for your feedback as we look to make district-level decisions which support our pledge to be a place where staff want to work, students want to be, and families want to live.
 
 
Sincerely,
    
Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
#WestShoreProud
 


Message sent January 19, 2022

Good evening West Shore students, staff, and families,
 
Tomorrow morning’s forecast is shaping up to be a tricky one as it relates to the timing of snowfall in our area. As a result, we have not yet made a decision as to whether we will have a regular day, delay, or remote learning day on Thursday, January 20. Given the uncertainty of the morning, tonight's message is to provide some clarification regarding our expectations should the weather or road conditions necessitate a switch from two-hour delay to remote learning.
 
When it comes to making decisions about our school schedule, several factors are considered including the forecast, existing conditions, and potential impact on general operations. Each of these are taken into consideration in the context of safety and the impact a change in our plans will have on families, students, and teachers. 
 
I realize the transition between starting later and starting remotely is not without challenges, and it is my goal to avoid situations when a two-hour delay is followed by a transition to remote learning. However, there may be occasions when it is necessary for student and staff safety. With that in mind, I want to clarify our procedures for weather-related remote learning days.
 
  • All students will start at 8:30 a.m. and follow the previously shared/used Zoom class schedules. It is important families be prepared for the possibility of a switch to remote learning; however, if your child is unable to log on promptly at 8:30 a.m. due to childcare or other circumstances, we ask that they log on as soon as possible.
  • All staff will be mindful of class end times to allow for a few minutes between classes. This way students and staff can get a drink, use the restroom, and take a breath.
 
Student and staff safety is always our top priority when making the decision to have school or not. Our second priority is to make timely decisions. We understand and appreciate the impact these decisions have on family schedules, childcare, work arrival, etc. We do not take the impact on families and staff lightly. 
 
Thank you in advance for your patience, support, and flexibility. As always, I hope you stay safe and stay warm through this winter season!
 
 
Sincerely,
    
Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.
Superintendent
[email protected]
#WestShoreProud
 


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.
 
Remote Learning Schedules
Elementary - Students will follow a modified schedule with teacher-led, online classes and specials. Zoom links will be provided by teachers via Seesaw. 
 
Middle and High School - Students will follow a modified schedule with teacher-led, online classes. Zoom links will be provided by teachers via Schoology. 
 
Students in our Special Education program can anticipate additional information from their teacher(s) regarding their schedule for the day.
 
Cumberland Perry Area Career and Technical Center (CTC) students will not have face-to-face instruction. Students should refer to information provided by CTC relative to their work expectations for the day.
 
ExCEL Virtual Learning Academy and CAOLA Students will follow their regular schedule.
 

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 8:30 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. 
 
Other - Details will also be available on the District weather message line (717-938-3179) and reported to local radio and television stations.
 
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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