Winter Weather Notifications

  • COMMUNICATION PROCESS

    As we head into the winter weather season, the Elizabethtown Area School District would like to update our families on our procedures regarding delayed starts and school closings for inclement weather.

    • Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, parents/guardians NO LONGER need to register to receive winter weather communications.
    • The District will notify ALL parents/guardians by text message and email only if there is a DELAYED START or if SCHOOL IS CLOSED because of winter weather.
      • PLEASE NOTE: The text number and email address you wish to receive the message MUST be on file in our Student Information System.
      • The District WILL NOT PHONE CALL families for delayed starts or school closings.
    • The District will notify ALL parents/guardians by phone call, text message, and email if students are DISMISSED EARLY from school because of winter weather.
      • PLEASE NOTE: The phone number and email address you wish to receive the message MUST be on file in our Student Information System.
    • Contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, can be reviewed and updated through the District's Community Portal.
    • The Federal Communication Commission mandates that families wishing to receive a text message from the District send a one-time text of YES or Y to the following number - 67587 - from the device you have on file with the District AND wish to receive the text message.
      • If you are already receiving text messages from the District, then this action is not necessary as you already completed this step.
      • Until you send the one-time text message from the device you wish to receive the message, you will not receive text messages from the EASD.
    • When possible, the District will make every effort to make the delayed start or school closing decision the night before, and we will contact our families by text message and email at that time. 
    • When notification the night before is not possible, the District will make every effort to send the text message and email informing our families of the DELAYED START and SCHOOL CLOSING by 5:45 a.m. 
    • The District also makes every effort to post information on our website at www.etownschools.org and mobile app, through our Facebook and Twitter pages, and on local news outlets no later than 6 a.m. the day of the delayed start or school closing.

    BEARS VIRTUAL LEARNING DAYS

    Rather than have the traditional “snow days,” the District will implement Bears Virtual Learning Days when inclement weather may force a school closing. While the weather might be unpleasant, we are pleased that we can keep students K-12 engaged and learning on these days. The benefits of this new process are as follows:

    • Maximizes student and staff safety by keeping them at home rather than trying to navigate roads in less than optimal conditions.
    • Provides continuity of instruction as our students and teachers are already prepared for virtual school days and have demonstrated that they are able to do so successfully.
    • Preserves time off over scheduled breaks by not needing to use pre-scheduled, board-approved weather make-up days.
    • Eliminates the need to extend the school year to make up days missed due to inclement weather.

    If our buildings are closed because of the weather, our text and email messages, as well as our website and social media announcements, will communicate that we will be activating a Bears Virtual Learning Day. In very rare instances of significant impact events, when the community’s priorities are redirected to safety and welfare (such as a blizzard, major flooding, etc),  we will not make use of Bears Virtual Learning Days and instead use designated make-up days identified in our board-approved calendar. We will be clear as to which option we are implementing.

    What you need to know about Bears Virtual Learning Days:

    • Students K-12 enrolled in in-person and Etown Cyber will operate on a 2-hour delay schedule. 
    • Communication regarding class schedules and virtual activities for the day will come from either your child’s building principal and/or teacher as soon as possible but no later than the morning of the weather event.
    • Students will have synchronous (live stream) and asynchronous (at your own schedule) educational experiences following the child’s building two-hour delay schedule.
    • Students are expected to fully participate in lessons and activities, which could come in various formats (i.e., ZOOM class meetings, SeeSaw and Schoology Learning Management System uploads, emergency instructional packets).
    • The District will track attendance based on student participation and work completion. If your child is ill, please follow our regular absenteeism reporting procedure.
    • Students will be marked with an unexcused absence if they do not participate; do not complete the work; or if the student is not reported off for illness. Students who are ill will need to make up the work upon their return to school.
    • Households without access to technology (device and/or internet) should contact their child’s teacher/ principal for assistance and may be given a reasonable extension to complete the assigned work.
    • A Bears Virtual Learning Day is in lieu of the traditional school closing. As such, there will be no need to make the day up as school is in session in a virtual format.

    For more information on the process the District uses when deciding to keep open, delay, or close school, CLICK HERE. For questions about the District's use of School Messenger for winter weather notifications, please contact Troy Portser at (717) 367-1521 ext. 10024 or troy_portser@etownschools.org.