Frequently Asked Questions
The decision to pivot to remote learning or delay the start of school due to inclement weather involves many factors that must be considered. The following information may help you understand this process.
How is information regarding a delay or closing communicated?
Regardless of weather forecasts during evening or morning newscasts, parents and guardians, as well as staff and community members, may find closing or delay information via the following resources:
The District’s website – www.avonworth.k12.pa.us
The District’s telephone and email notification system, School Messenger
TV announcements on KDKA-TV, WTAE-TV, WPXI-TV
The Avonworth Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages
What are the sources of information utilized to make a decision?
Dr. Hadley listens to weather forecasts and reviews notices from the National Weather Service. He communicates with the First Student bus garage and the Ohio Township Police Department. Starting as early as 4:00 A.M., Dr. Hadley begins a review of information from these sources. Dr. Hadley will also consult with the Avonworth Building and Grounds Supervisor to ensure that parking lots, sidewalks, and school buildings are prepared to hold school safely.
What factors are considered in the decision to close or delay?
Operation of school buses
Power, heat, and water in the school buildings
Parking lot and sidewalk conditions
Temperature and wind-chill factors
How are decisions made regarding temperature and wind chill?
The National Weather Service has produced a Wind Chill Chart that provides information concerning the combination of low temperatures and wind speed to determine wind chill. The chart also delineates the impact of wind chill on frostbite. Generally, Dr. Hadley will use this chart combined with data from previously stated sources to determine if the weather conditions pose a danger. (The chart is located below.)
What choices are available regarding the operation of the school district?
The Avonworth School District may run a two-hour delayed opening or pivot to remote learning.
Who makes the decision?
Dr. Hadley makes the final decision based on the above factors and using the input from the Ohio Township Police Department, the Ohio Township road crews, First Student Bus Garage, and the Avonworth Building and Grounds Supervisor.
When is the decision made?
The Superintendent makes the final decision no later than 5:30 A.M. The telephone and email notification system, television stations, District website, and social media will notify stakeholders so proper planning and schedule adjustments can occur. When possible, a decision may be made and communicated the night before.
How soon after the decision is made will the District inform parents?
The Avonworth School District notifies parents and students via its telephone notification system and email as soon as a decision is made. Please note that the notification system may take several minutes to contact all District parents due to the volume of calls being made at one time. Parents are encouraged to monitor their email, District website, District Facebook, District Twitter, and District Instagram, as well as local television stations for the latest closing/delay information.
Who do I contact if I do not receive a phone call/email regarding a school closing/delay?
The District contacts those phone numbers and email addresses provided by parents at the start of the school year. If you are not receiving phone calls or emails regarding school closings/delays, please contact the main office in your child(ren)’s school building(s) directly.
What happens if the decision is made to close school buildings for the day?
The Avonworth School District is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to provide remote learning in case the school can not occur in person due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. If buildings are closed due to inclement weather or an unforeseen circumstance, Avonworth School District will pivot to remote learning.
When will instruction begin on a day the District pivots to remote learning?
Instruction will begin two hours later than the normal start of the school day. APC and AES will begin remote instruction at 11:00 A.M. AMS and AHS will begin remote instruction at 10:00 A.M.
What does it mean if there is a two-hour delay?
A two-hour delay means that school starts two hours later than the normal starting time. Please note that your child’s bus pick-up time will be delayed by two hours as well.
Will students ever be held at school because of inclement weather?
Severe weather and/or potentially dangerous road conditions that occur at or near the time of afternoon dismissal may require the delayed release of students. Students may be held at school until it is determined that it is safe for school buses to transport students home. If students are to be held at school, the District will make every attempt to contact parents through the District’s telephone notification system.
Will students ever be released early because of weather conditions?
The Avonworth School District will not have an early dismissal unless directed explicitly by Emergency Services, Pennsylvania’s Governor’s Office, or Homeland Security. The District does not commonly practice early dismissals because students who are released early may arrive at homes where no adult supervision is present.
If there is an early dismissal, how will I know?
The Avonworth School District will contact parents via the District’s telephone and email notification system regarding any early release of students from school. Updated information will also be posted on the District’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram regarding an early dismissal. Information will also be communicated to KDKA, WPXI, and WTAE.
Parents are asked to have a plan in place in case of an early dismissal. Parents should give students clear instructions on where to go if their bus drops them off earlier than usual. Also, be sure your child and the school have been given all current home, work, and mobile numbers if they need to contact you. Please review any emergency weather plans with your child if severe weather is in the forecast.