Back to School 2017 Information
(UPDATED FOR 2017)
Inclement Weather Notice to Parents/Guardians
We take the responsibility of delaying or canceling school very seriously. We recognize that delays and cancellations create inconveniences for parents/guardians who work outside of the home and that schedule changes take away from the continuity of teaching and learning. Please know that we will not interrupt the educational process unless we feel it is absolutely necessary.
Our number one concern is the safety of children. We depend upon the experience of our bus contractor to keep us informed concerning the ability of buses to travel the roads. The process of checking road conditions begins very early in the morning. From that information, a judgment is made to delay or cancel school. If we receive advance warning of a severe storm, and have sound information that it will arrive, we may cancel classes so that children do not arrive at school and become stranded.
Parents/guardians should discuss what their children should do in case of an early dismissal. If there is an early dismissal, children will be sent home on the buses. The high school students will be dismissed first, followed by the middle school and Hartwood Elementary students, and then the remainder of the elementary students. This order of dismissal is utilized so that older children can be at home when their younger brothers and sisters arrive. Parents/guardians should plan with their children how they wish to handle an early dismissal.
Buses may be unable to make it to the regular drop-off point. If that should occur, the driver will radio the bus garage and inform the school.
If the driver is able to see the bus stop and observe the children walk to the bus stop, the driver will allow the children to disembark from the bus to walk to their normal drop-off point. Parents should encourage their children to stand away from the side of the snow-covered roads and to use extreme caution at all times.
If the driver cannot make it to the drop-off point, he/she will radio the bus garage and inform the school. School personnel will then attempt to contact the parents/guardians. If the parents/guardians cannot be notified, the children will be taken back to school.
In the event that buses do not arrive at school on schedule at dismissal time, the children will be kept in the school. There are emergency provisions in each of the buildings and the students will be fed if they are stranded at school.
Parents/guardians of elementary children must have already completed and turned in to the building principal, an emergency card. This information will help the school personnel know who to contact in the event of an emergency or weather-related early dismissal. The card should include the parents’/guardians’ emergency telephone numbers where someone can always be contacted.
Please be sure that your children are dressed for the weather. When there is a threat of snow and the wind chill is low, children should have hats, coats, boots, and gloves to wear.
Please remember that we are making a decision based on what is best for the entire school district. That decision may not always seem like the best decision for your section of the school district but may be appropriate for another area. The school district covers an area of approximately 36 square miles, so there are times when roads will be clear in one section and very bad in other areas. All roads are not treated or cleared at the same time, which can result in bus delays.
When there is a school delay, cancellation, or early dismissal, every parent/guardian in the district will receive a phone call from the district’s school messaging system. Additionally, an announcement will still be placed on the district’s information line at 412/967-2500 and on the district’s website at www.fcasd.edu. Please note that during a power outage it may not be possible to place an announcement on the district’s website and on the telephone information line. Delay, cancellation, and/or early dismissal announcements will also be placed on the following television stations: KDKA-TV, WPXI-TV, and WTAE-TV.
It is also important to note that if school is cancelled and student makeup days are necessary, they will be held in the following order: June 11, June 12, and June 13, 2018.