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Winter Weather Notifications & Procedures

  • The safety of our students is our primary consideration when making weather decisions. It is our goal to have the students attend school as soon as road conditions safely permit.  

    Many steps are taken to assess the weather as it applies to the safety of our students. Numerous weather forecasts are reviewed to accurately assess air temperatures, wind chill, and projected precipitation.   Communication is frequently established with our contracted transportation company, PennDOT, local municipalities, as well as superintendents from neighboring school districts.  All of this is done before 5:30 a.m. which is the time decisions to delay/cancel school must be made. Conditions within our school district can vary greatly from one township to the next.  Many variables factor into the condition of the roads at 5:30 a.m. including temperature, elevation, and the township or borough’s ability to treat the roads. Decisions are made based on the overall road conditions throughout the entire district.

    Please know that we will be making the decision with the best information that we have at the time. If it is certain that a weather event will occur, we will make the decision to delay or cancel school the night before so that parents have the opportunity to arrange for childcare services for the next school day. We all know that weather forecasting is not an exact science, but we will do the best that we can to ensure our children’s safety. Weather conditions may make it necessary for the Lower Dauphin School District to utilize a virtual instruction day, close schools, delay the start of school, or dismiss early for the safety of students and staff. No matter what the decision, the district will use a similar process for notifying parents of the weather-related status of their child's school.

    Notification Process

    • Notification posted to the district's Informaline - 717-566-5320.
    • Notification posted to the district website under 'Headlines' on the main district page (www.ldsd.org).
    • Notification posted to school social media accounts - X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook (High School, Middle School, Conewago, East Hanover, Londonderry & Nye).
    • Notification posted to local media outlets (ABC-27, CBS-21, FOX-43, NBC-8, WJTL FM 90.3).
    • Notification via the automated SchoolMessenger system. (For information on signing-up for School Messenger, please click here https://www.ldsd.org/Page/17022) 

    Due to the speed the district can post weather-related updates online, information may appear on Informaline, the website and our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) first, followed by direct communication with our families via SchoolMessenger.  

    Virtual Instruction Day

    The Lower Dauphin School District has the option of using Virtual Instruction Days. If a significant weather event is pending, parents will be notified the day prior that a Virtual Instruction Day be implemented the following day. The Virtual Instruction Day will count as a normal school day and will not need to be made up later in the year.   

    Assignments will be sent home with the students and/or posted to your child’s Canvas page. Teachers will be available throughout the day to offer assistance, and technical support can be reached by email at helpdesk@ldsd.org.

    • At the secondary level, students will complete their normal schedule online, but each class period will be 15 minutes. Teachers will also have office hours available from 1-2:30 p.m. Details can be found on teachers' Canvas pages. The Virtual Instruction Day schedule has been attached for your convenience:  Virtual Instruction Day Schedule - HS and MS
    • At the elementary level, teachers will communicate with families via Class Dojo. Virtual instruction will take place starting at 9 a.m. for a morning meeting with an overview of the day's assignments. Teachers will hold office hours and check-ins as communicated on their Dojo message or on Canvas, where they will also post the day's special schedule (art, computer, library, music, or physical education).  

    School Closing

    Schools will be closed. This day will need to be made up later in the year.

    Delays

    The district has the option to utilize a one- or two-hour delay to the start of schools. The delayed start times are:

    • One-Hour Delay
      • High School: 8:34-2:26
      • Middle School: 8:30-2:37
      • Elementary: 10:00-3:30
    • Two-Hour Delay
      • High School: 9:34-2:26
      • Middle School: 9:30-2:37
      • Elementary: 11:00-3:30

    Early Dismissal

    Should conditions deteriorate during the school day, the district may need to dismiss early. This decision is not taken lightly and we urge families to have a plan for this possibility. 

    Questions

    For questions about the district's procedures for winter weather notifications, please contact Jim Hazen, the district's community relations coordinator, at jhazen@ldsd.org or by calling 717-566-5307.

    For questions about the Virtual Instruction Day schedule, please contact your student's school office directly.