MTSD Inclement Weather Communication Procedures
The announcement of school delays and closings will be posted to the district’s website, mobile app (for iOS and Android), Facebook/Twitter pages, as well as reported on the following local radio and television stations on or before 7:00 am:
- WROZ/Fun 101.3
- WDAC FM 94.5
- WJTL FM 90.3
- WITF FM 99.9
- ABC 27
- CBS 21
- FOX 43
Other Communication Vehicles
- MTSD Website
- MTSD Mobile App
If possible, decisions to delay or close schools will be made no later than 5:15 am, to provide families adequate time to be notified and to seek and find daycare and alternative family plans, if needed. Early notification also allows our transportation, maintenance and food service teams to prepare for necessary adjustments and modifications.
However, please be aware that while we may make the decision before 5:15 am, it will take time to update the radio, television and other communication vehicles, as well as for the media outlets to post this information. We will work as quickly as possible! All local school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, etc., are also contacting these media outlets during the same time period. Once the information has been submitted, we are at the mercy of the radio and television stations as to when it is broadcast during their programs, posted on their websites or listed at the bottom of the television screen. Keep in mind that they, too, are dealing with an influx of web users also repeatedly hitting their websites for this information. A friendly reminder that if you do not see our information posted on one website or television station, to check the other stations – it might have been uploaded more quickly there.
When weather conditions develop during the day and the district decides to close the schools early, high school students will be dismissed first followed by middle school students and then elementary students. Parents of elementary students should have an emergency plan prepared in case of an early dismissal. We will post this information to all media outlets, as well as use School Messenger for phone calls to alert parents quickly.
We always keep the safety of our students and staff forefront in our decision-making, however sometimes, as we all know, the weather throws us a curve ball. As we head into the snowy part of winter, please remember to always check our website, and download the district’s mobile app to receive up-to-date information on closings and delays.
FAQ Regarding Inclement Weather Procedures
How are decisions made regarding weather-related school closings and delays?
The superintendent consults with our transportation liaison and the Plant Manager who have assigned areas within the Township to drive and assess. The superintendent also consults with superintendents from neighboring school district and sometimes the Manheim Township Police Department is contacted for information regarding traffic problems. Student safety is the primary concern in deciding when to delay or cancel school. Dangerous wind chill factors, icy roads, accumulated snowfall, heavy fog, flooding and severe storm warnings are all reasons for delaying or canceling school. Loss of heat or water, fire damage and hazardous spills have caused specific buildings to close or be delayed.
Factors in Decisions:
1. Road conditions
2. Projected weather forecast
3. Risk-reward balance of bringing students to school or the possibility that they may be home alone because parents cannot take off work unexpectedly.
4. Timing of the weather.
We always keep the safety of our students and staff forefront in our decision-making, however sometimes, as we all know, the weather throws us a curve ball.
Snow Make-Up Days
We will keep the calendar of our website current with the tentative date of our last student day of school during unprecedented winter weather and if makeup days are needed. Please be aware that our last student day could change due to unpredictable months of winter weather and school days off.
Thoughts as to why a 2-hour delay
There are several reasons for a 2-hour delay. For our young drivers, it allows them to drive in the daylight and avoid rush hour traffic. For our maintenance people, it gives them extra time to plow parking lots, clear sidewalks, and make sure each building’s heating system is working properly. For all our students, it provides a safer commute in daylight, and gives extra time for roads and sidewalks to clear. For our busing service, they may need additional time to dig out and clear the buses to begin their bus route. For the state and local road crews, it allows extra time to clear the roads of snow and debris. And for the administration, it provides us time to make sure all of the above has happened and students have a safe environment. Sometimes the 2-hour delay also allows time to see if the weather forecast was correct as predicted, in which case, we then may make the call to close school.
Process of closing schools early
When weather conditions develop during the day and the district decides to close the schools early, high school students will be dismissed first followed by middle school students and then elementary students. Parents of elementary students should have an emergency plan prepared in case of an early dismissal. The district will post on our website, Facebook/Twitter/Mobile App, send out a School Messenger email and phone call, and contact all media outlets if the decision is made to close early due to weather.