November 5, 2021
Dear Shaler Area families,
With the winter weather season approaching, we want to remind our families of the district’s procedures for delaying or canceling the school day to ensure you can plan accordingly and provide information about the district using Flexible Instruction Days in place of canceling classes due to inclement weather.
The safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance to us, so we take the decision to delay or cancel classes very seriously. During a winter weather event, we take into account the current road and weather conditions, temperature and wind chill as well as the day’s forecast. We also consult with the safety coordinators of our contracted bus companies who travel the roads in the district to assess their safety. Please be aware, school delays or cancellations also can occur for other unexpected reasons, such as an area water main break, power outage, or other significant event. Be sure that you have appropriate plans in place in the event the district should need to delay, cancel, or dismiss students early.
While many Shaler Area families are familiar with the procedures and notifications in place for delays and cancellations, please find the information below for your convenience:
- The decision to delay or cancel school will be made and communicated whenever possible before 6 a.m. and if possible, the night before. However, there are occasions that changing road and weather conditions will necessitate a later decision.
- Families should call the district’s main phone number, 412-492-1200, as the primary source for information. The district’s phone message will be updated to reflect any changes in the district’s schedule, such as a delay or cancellation. Shaler Area School District website, www.sasd.k12.pa.us, also is used to communicate important information such as delays and closings, as well as the district’s social media.
- Families also can choose to receive texts and/or emails through the www.sasd.k12.pa.us website by signing up for the “Email Newsletter” on the main webpage, adding a cell phone number and/or email address and choosing “school closings.”
- In addition to the main phone number and website, Shaler Area notifies three local news stations: KDKA, WPXI, WTAE. Please note that the school district does not control how quickly the information is updated on-air. You may consider signing up for the electronic alerts through the respective television stations.
- Early Dismissal Plans: In the event that Shaler Area would need to dismiss school early, please make sure your family has appropriate childcare arrangements and/or dismissal plans in place. It also is important to be sure that your emergency contact information is current. If the contact information needs to be updated, please log in to Infinite Campus to make any necessary changes or contact your student’s school.
Please remember that parents/guardians always have the final determination as to whether or not to send their student to school on any given day. While we strive to make the best possible decisions in the timeframe we are given, unexpected winter weather issues may occur. Thank you to everyone for your support and assistance as we prepare for inclement weather.
NEW for the 2021-2022 school year: Starting this school year, Shaler Area will utilize Flexible Instruction Days (FID) in place of unexpected, emergency school closures to eliminate the need to make-up that day. Specifically, Shaler Area will use these days in place of cancellations for inclement weather for the 2021-2022 school year.
In the event that the district needs to cancel in-person instruction, all students will participate in remote instruction through their district-issued device.
- The transition to a Flexible Instruction Day will be announced on the district website.
- Flexible Instruction Days will operate on a one-hour delay schedule to provide students and staff the opportunity to transition to remote instruction. The class start times will be as follows:
- High School: 8:18 a.m.
- Middle School: 8:40 a.m.
- Elementary School: 9:12 a.m.
- Primary Schools: 10:00 a.m.
- All classes will require synchronous instruction (in real time with live instruction).
- All teachers will take attendance, and there will be minimum requirements for instructional minutes.
- Students not present during FID remote instruction will be marked with an unexcused absence unless a note is provided by a parent/guardian—the same procedures as a typical school day. Technical difficulties or connectivity issues should be reported to the classroom teacher.
Logging in during a Flexible Instruction Day:
- Students will use platforms such as Seesaw, Google Classroom, Google Meet and/or Zoom online video meeting to participate in synchronous instruction.
- Classroom teachers will share specific directions with students and families on how to connect to their class.
Dr. Sean C. Aiken
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Bryan O’Black