Closings and Delays
How does NA decide to delay or cancel school?
School Closing and/or Delay Information
On occasion, weather conditions or other unexpected circumstances may make it necessary for school to be delayed or canceled. The safety of our students is always paramount in this decision-making process. NASD has developed a layered approach to disseminating closing/cancellation/delay information. SchoolMessenger, a web-based telephone notification system, is the primary vehicle used for the communication of weather-related cancellation or delay information, as well as other emergency or crisis-related messages. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their information is correctly registered in this system. Information is also posted on the District website, and submitted to the three local television stations. Detailed information about these communications and how the decision is made to delay, close or cancel school can be found on the NASD website.
Deciding to Close or Delay
Staff members are out very early in the morning to evaluate road conditions when bad weather hits our area. Their observations are evaluated by the Superintendent, along with information from local municipalities, police, road maintenance crews, and the National Weather Service. While we know conditions can change quickly, our goal is to make a decision about delaying or canceling school by 5:30 a.m., since some of our high school students and staff are on the road by 6:00 a.m.
Decisions Can Change
Sometimes, the weather will take a serious turn for the worse and a delay will become a cancellation, so parents should monitor communications on an ongoing basis throughout a morning when weather is a factor. Other times, bad weather conditions will not arise until after the 5:30 a.m. deadline and communications issues become a particular challenge.
Communications About Cancellations or Delays
As soon as a decision is made about a cancellation or delay, the information is placed on the NASD website. Next, a message is programmed into the SchoolMessenger automated phone system and activated for delivery. Setting up the message generally takes about 15 minutes. Delivering the message to the entire District generally takes 30 – 40 minutes. It is very important that parents and staff members keep their contact information up-to-date in the SchoolMessenger system.
Then, the information is communicated to the three local television stations. While some of the television stations have an automated report system, others do not. The District has no control over how or when the stations report this information.
While weather conditions cannot be anticipated or controlled, technical difficulties with the NASD website or cable television connections or technical difficulties experienced by local television/radio stations can also hinder our best efforts to communicate this critical information. For this reason, NASD has taken a “layered” approach to disseminating these important messages. We recommend that students and parents routinely check several sources for information.
Two Hour Delays
When a two-hour delay is called, students should be at their bus stop two hours after their normal reporting time. Kindergarten students follow this schedule:
- AM Kindergarten 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
- PM Kindergarten 1:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If School Is Dismissed Early
In very rare circumstances, it has been necessary to dismiss students early from school. The same communication resources outlined above are implemented.
- NA Website: northallegheny.org
- TV Stations: WTAE-TV | WPXI-TV | KDKA-TV