Inclement Weather Procedures
District parents and families are able to get up-to-the-minute school delay and closure information by becoming a fan of the District’s Facebook page or checking the District's website. As in the past, the District will continue to share this information on its Facebook page and with local news outlets; CBS Pittsburgh (KDKA TV), WPXI and WTAE.
The decision to close schools will be based primarily on the condition of district roads or other weather conditions that would jeopardize the safety of children. The Director of Transportation confers with the weather bureau, the Chief Operations Officer and the District’s bus companies, including the Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT), about weather forecasts, available energy for heating the buildings and area road conditions. The administrators report the findings to the Superintendent, who makes the final decision to have a 2-hour delay or close schools.
School is canceled only during unusual circumstances such as extreme weather, facility or equipment failure, an environmental hazard or a public crisis that causes a significant safety risk.
1. When will I know if schools are closed or a 2-hour delay?
When a decision can be made the preceding night, the District will attempt to make an announcement by 10 p.m. In most cases, a decision won’t be made until morning. The goal is to make a decision to have a 2-hour delay or close schools by 5:30 a.m. There will be no announcement if schools are open as scheduled.
2. Who makes the decision to have a 2-hour delay or close schools?
The Superintendent, the Chief Operations Officer and the Director of Transportation make the decision based upon current weather conditions, weather forecasts and road conditions.
3. What if the schools are open, but I decide to keep my child home during inclement weather?
If a decision is made for schools to remain open, parents/guardians have the option to keep their children home for health and safety reasons. Parents/guardians are ultimately responsible for making this decision. If you decide to keep your child home in any situation, including inclement weather, you should call the school to report your child’s absence. A written explanation of the absence must be provided to the homeroom teacher upon returning to school within three (3) days. Failure to provide a written explanation of the absence within three (3) days will result in an unlawful or unexcused absence.
4. How do I find out if schools have a 2-hour delay or are closed?
When the decision to have a 2-hour delay or to close schools is finalized by the Superintendent, the Director of Transportation contacts the Public Relations and Communications staff to share on the District's website, Facebook page and with local television stations.
Tune into the following television stations for frequent school closing announcements: WPXI, WTAE and KDKA TV. Those television stations carry a moving line across the bottom of the screen to provide school closing information. If there is no announcement, classes are in session. Delay and closure information will appear first on the District's social media pages and website.
5. Are employees on duty when schools are closed?
No. If the District announces a school closure due to inclement weather, all PPS buildings will be closed, including non-school buildings. Schools are not able to provide care for children who arrive when buildings are closed. Schools will contact parents to pick up their children.
6. What time should my child report to school when there is a 2-hour delay?
In the instance of a 2-hour delay, all students must report to school exactly 2-hours after their schools normal start time. For example, if your child’s normal start time is 8:15 am, your child should report to school at 10:15am. The same is true for the time your child should report to the bus stop. If your child’s normal bus pick up time is 7:00 am, your child should report to their bus stop by 9:00am.
Note: The breakfast program is canceled on school days when a 2-hour delay occurs. If your student receives medication during the 2-hour delay time period, please provide the medication to your student at home.
7. What happens if the weather worsens during the school day?
The District tries to avoid unexpected early dismissals. However, on occasion, early dismissals are unavoidable. Parents should make prior arrangements for supervision of their children. It is important for schools to be able to reach parents and designated childcare providers during daytime hours. Please make sure schools have accurate telephone numbers and emergency contact information. When it is necessary to dismiss children during the regular school day, the district will contact local media and provide as much advance notice as possible. If weather conditions worsen and schools remain open, parents may choose to pick up their children early after informing school staff.
8. What cold weather provisions are made for recess?
The decision to hold recess during poor weather conditions, including extreme cold, is made by the school principal. Children should always wear appropriate cold weather clothing, including winter coats, hats, gloves or mittens, and boots during the winter months. Any student with a health concern that requires them to stay indoors should provide a doctor’s note to the school. Appropriate accommodations will be made to meet the needs of the child.
9. What provisions are made for before or after school activities when schools have 2-hour delays or are closed?
All school-sponsored after-school activities are canceled when an early dismissal or school closing occurs due to inclement weather conditions. Please contact your child’s school to determine when activities will be rescheduled. Some before and after-school child care programs are operated by private child care providers within school buildings. These programs are not required to follow School District inclement weather procedures. Some programs may close when school is delayed or canceled, while others may remain open. Please follow the procedures for inclement weather provided by your child’s program, and contact the program operator directly if you have questions about the program’s procedures.
10. Will the Pittsburgh Gifted Center program be open when there is a 2-hour delay?
No. Pittsburgh Gifted Center is closed when the District has a two-hour delay.
11. How will athletic contests be handled on the day of a 2-hour delay?
If the school district has a 2-hour delay, the Athletic Office continues with the scheduled games and or practices for that day. Principals have the discretion in regard to canceling practices only on two-hour delay days. They will consult with the Transportation Department to determine the best practice on a given day regarding contests.
If school is canceled due to weather, ALL City League contests and all non-league contests played at home venues (schools) are postponed until the next available date that is feasible. The Athletic Office will determine the rescheduled date.
If school is canceled because of weather and a school is playing a non-league contest or tournament outside the city and the school they are playing is still hosting the contest, the schools are permitted to play. This decision is left to the discretion of the building Principal and staff. (usually only occurs at the high school level)
If the School District dismisses school early after the school day has started due to weather, the Athletic Office will cancel all City League contests and the third provision will apply for non-league contests.