Procedures for Determining a Two Hour Delay or Cancellation
The Derry Area School District takes extensive measures to determine whether school should be delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather conditions. Our priority is to ensure that we can transport our students safely on school busses to school. As you can imagine, there are many factors that go into making this decision. Below is some insight on how we make this determination.
As you may know, the State of Pennsylvania requires that school is in session for a specific number of days each year. It is our duty to see that DASD meets that state requirement in the timeline given. Each time school is cancelled, that day needs to be made up by shortening a holiday break or adding onto the school year.
Determining a Delay or Closure in the Event of Snow
In the event that weather forecasters are predicting snow which could impact the safety of our students school bus ride, the transportation director and Smith Bus supervisor travel on the roads between 4:00 AM and 5:30 AM. They travel on the roads that are most heavily traveled by school busses to determine whether they can safely transport students. They look for safety hazards such as icy intersections, snow drifts, and dangerous amounts of snow on the road. Based on their evaluation and communication between neighboring schools, township supervisors, and PennDot, they determine whether safe travel to school is possible.
There is no clear cut formula for delaying/canceling school due to snow and ice. The individuals that check the roads make a decision based on their first hand account of the roads, status of road treatment, and other weather factors. As many roads are scanned as possible, however, not all roads can be due to the extensive geography of the district.
Determining a Delay or Closure Due to Windchill
We understand that some of our students may be waiting at the bus stop for 5-10 minutes or more if they have to walk a considerable distance. With that in mind along with the windchill chart, you can see that a temperature of 0 degrees combined with a wind speed of 10 mph gives you a -21 wind chill. At -21, exposure to the cold could cause frostbite within 30 minutes according to the chart. School districts typically begin to consider delay due to wind chill between -10 to -15 degrees, temperatures at which frostbite cannot occur but are approaching a concerning level.