An alert will be posted on all of the district web pages for any closings or delays.
If necessary, additional updates will be posted on this page (subject to Internet and network availability).
Parents are also encouraged to monitor the Pittsburgh media outlets for information on Gateway School District delays and closings as well as the school district website.
Sometimes when roads become icy or snow covered or temperatures drop to dangerous levels, the District makes the decision to delay or close school.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
How is the decision to delay or close school determined?
The process to delay or close because of inclement weather begins at 4 a.m. The District Transportation Department works closely with the Monroeville Public Works Department, STA Bus Company, and the Monroeville/Pitcairn Police Departments to determine the condition of the roads. Weather forecasts are also monitored during the day and evening to help determine future weather patterns and weather alerts that will impact commutes. The District relies upon the expert opinion of its municipal and transportation partners to determine if the roadways in Monroeville and Pitcairn are safe for buses and cars to travel upon.
Who makes the decision to delay or close?
The decision to delay of close school rests with the Superintendent of Schools or, in his absence, the Assistant Superintendents.
How are parents/guardians alerted to a school closing or delay?
Once the decision to delay or close is made by the Superintendent, the notification process for parents begins.
First a message is sent to all District families via the District's emergency communication system, Skylert. These messages are delivered via home phone, cell phone, email, or text to families. This rapid notification system allows everyone to be notified within three minutes.
Parents and Guardians are encouraged to monitor the Pittsburgh media outlets for information on Gateway School District delays and closings.
Other options include district email alerts and postings on our website.
What time frame does the District use for closings and delays?
The District does its very best to make its decision to delay or close by 5:30 a.m. Keep in mind, due to changing weather and road conditions, the District sometimes must make the decision to close at a later time. Since we are at the mercy of weather, parents and guardians should always be prepared for a sudden change of plans due to deteriorating road conditions. Safety for our students and your children is always our number one priority.
If there is a two hour delay, what time does school start?
All Gateway schools will add two hours to their normal start time. Dismissal will occur at the normal time.
What if inclement weather strikes while students are in school?
If snow begins to fall while school is in session, the District will, most likely, not elect to dismiss early. Early dismissal creates a problem for those younger (elementary) students who are not old enough to return home alone. Often, we find that by keeping the students safely in school, the road crews can treat the roads making them safer for travel when dismissal occurs.
When would the District elect to dismiss early?
If there is a power or heating issue in a school and it is determined that school cannot remain open safely, then a decision would be made to either relocate the students to another building or, in the worst case scenario, dismiss early. In all cases, parents will be alerted of the situation via an Skylert phone message and the District website.
If inclement weather alerts are issued by the local or national weather forecasters, we recommend that parents/guardians monitor local media, the web site, and retrieve their voice messages so you can receive timely information in case of an early dismissal.
At what temperature does the District delay?
Snow and ice isn't the only reason that the District would delay or close. Frigid temperatures, that pose a risk to students who are walking or waiting for the bus, would necessitate a delay or possible closing. Although making this decision, based upon temperatures, is not an exact science, the District, and other surrounding districts, try to use the 10 degree below freezing wind chill as a guide. This is considered a dangerous temperature.
What is a Snow Day?
According to the Pennsylvania School Code, Commonwealth Districts are to build snow days into their calendars so that students are able to achieve the required 180 days of instruction per year.
Gateway, when it sets its yearly calendar, builds three snow days into the calendar. This is done by capturing days that were originally scheduled as a day off for students and staff. These days are posted on the District's calendar.
If we experience a very snowy winter, and we exhaust all of the scheduled snow days, then the District adds any additional snow make up days to the end of the school year, thus extending the last day of school.
Does the District ever elect to delay or close school the evening before?
Yes. If weather forecasts for the morning commute are predicted to be dangerous, icy, or snowy, the District may elect to call a delay or closing the night before. If this happens, the news stations will be notified and parents will be sent an Skylert phone message, along with an email. This information will also be posted on the website.
How late will the District make this decision?
The District will not enact the Skylert call system any later than 10:30 p.m.
How early will I be contacted about a school delay or closing?
The Skylert phone system will not call anyone prior to 5:30 a.m.
What if I feel that the road conditions are not safe, but school remains open? Can I elect to keep my child home from school?
Yes. You are the parent/guardian and have the right to keep your child home if you believe that travel is unsafe for your child. Keep in mind; however, that if you elect to do so, your child will be charged with a day's absence and will be required to make up any work missed.
The Gateway School District makes every effort to keep our parents/guardians informed of any emergencies or urgent news that would directly impact you or your child. To make sure that you get the most current information from us, we ask that you make sure all contact information is up to date with the District. This includes the Skylert emergency notification system.