Wednesday October 1, 2014 6:12 AM
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Weather-Related School Closing Information

When severe weather affects school opening, the decision to open or close schools has a big impact on families. The following explains how school closing decisions are made and the methods we use to communicate in those situations.

How do we make school closing decisions?

The decision to open or close schools in bad weather is based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, including:

·        Road conditions throughout our large district.
·        Amount of accumulated snow and ice and whether precipitation is expected to continue.
·        Building conditions (e.g., do we have electricity and heat?).
·        Parking lot and sidewalk conditions.
·        Temperature and wind chill.
·        School closing decisions by other districts in the area. 
·        Information gathered from the township's Department of Public Works, Office of Emergency Management, Camden County, and weather services.

Who makes the decision?

Dr. Maureen Reusche, Superintendent of Schools, makes the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from our facilities and transportation departments.

When is the decision made?

The decision is made by 5:30 am or earlier so we can alert our staff and parents, post the information on the website and CHPS TV, and advise radio and TV stations.

How is the public notified?

We use multiple means to alert parents to weather-related school closings and delayed openings.

The school district website (www.chclc.org) is the best source for information on school closings and delayed openings; once a decision is made, the information is posted almost immediately on the web site.

We post school closing information on CHPS TV, KYW News Radio (radio code number 551), and local television stations.

We use our District Notification System to alert parents to weather-related school closings and delayed openings. We will direct these calls to the primary emergency contact number only. WE WILL NOT ACTIVATE THE SYSTEM TO CALL PARENTS AFTER 10:30 PM OR BEFORE 5:45 AM. If a decision is made in between those times, it will be posted on the district website.

By using a variety of tools, we can be reasonably certain that every family will have access to school closing/delayed opening information.

What are the procedures during a delayed opening?

In the event of a delayed opening, the school schedule is delayed two hours:

·         Grades 9-12:  9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
·         Grades 6-8:  10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
·         Grades 1-5:  11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
·         Morning Kindergarten will run from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
·         Afternoon kindergarten will run as scheduled, 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
·         The schedule for Barclay programs is as follows:
 o        A.M. Half-day Preschool canceled.
 o        P.M. Half-day Preschool 1:00pm-3:30pm
 o        Full-day Preschool – 11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
 o        AM Social Skills Kindergarten – 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
·         SACC/EDCC opens on a two-hour delay -- at 9:00 a.m. All SACC sites will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
·         Bus routes will begin two hours later than normal with the exception of afternoon kindergarten routes.
·         Regular lunches will be available as scheduled.

What are the procedures for early dismissals?

Whenever possible, we will try to avoid the unscheduled early dismissal of elementary students. We may dismiss high school and middle school students earlier to ensure that our buses can complete their secondary runs in time to pick up elementary students at 3:30 pm.

If a winter storm arrives earlier than expected, or intensifies more quickly than anticipated, it may be necessary to dismiss elementary students early. On those rare occasions, elementary principals will activate a process for notifying parents, including use of our district notification system.

In conclusion

We believe that our students are best served – both academically and socially – by being in school. As always, our top priority is the safety of our students.

Please remember that the decision to change school schedules due to inclement weather is based on the best information available when the decision is made; however, we can never be sure how the weather will affect our area. Even meteorologists disagree on weather predictions. The final decision about whether it is safe for a child to attend school rests with each parent.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in these matters. If you have any questions, feel free to call the Public Information Office at 429-5600, ext. 4325.

© 2013 Cherry Hill Public Schools
45 Ranoldo Terrace
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
(856) 429-5600
(856) 354-1864
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