Inclement Weather FAQ
Deciding to open or close schools in bad weather dramatically impacts our families. We also understand that our students are better served academically by being in school. As always, our top priority is the safety of our students.
Where can I find information about Dover Area School District school closings or delays?
School closures and delays due to severe weather, power outages, and other emergencies are always a possibility, and you may find the latest information by checking these sources:
- Your email and voicemail
- District Website - Check http://www.doversd.org/
- Facebook - Follow updates on Facebook
- Media - Watch the local television stations or visit their websites.
Decisions to delay or close schools will be made no later than 6:00 a.m. to provide families adequate time to be notified and to seek and find daycare and alternative family plans if needed. Early notification also allows our transportation, maintenance, and food service teams to prepare for necessary adjustments and modifications.
However, please be aware that while we may decide at 6:00 a.m., it will take time to post the information on the district website, radio, television, and other communication channels. We will work as quickly as possible, but remember that all local school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, etc., also contact these media outlets during the same period.
A friendly reminder that if you do not see our information posted on our website, check the other locations – it might have been uploaded more quickly at that site. Schools run on time if you do not receive a voice message or email, and the information is not posted anywhere.
How does the Dover Area School District decide whether to close or delay the opening of schools for inclement weather?
- As early as 4:00 A.M. on a school day, school transportation personnel patrol school district roads, bus stops, and known problem areas, then report on road conditions. In addition, reports are collected and considered by police, local municipalities, and other local school districts.
- We receive updates from weather information sources about current and forecasted conditions, including temperature and wind chill.
- Every effort is made to announce a school closure or two-hour delay no later than 6:00 A.M for transportation and personnel to be in place.
- If conditions worsen after the decision is made for a two-hour delay, it is possible that it may change to a closure.
What types of weather days are there?
- Traditional Snow Days will be called on those days when a sudden storm overnight causes the road conditions to be unsafe for travel. In other words, conventional snow days will be called when the district has no time to prepare. When traditional snow days are used, the school days will be made up later. The Dover Area School District calendar has makeup days built into the calendar; however, if those dates are exhausted, any additional makeup days will be added to the end of the school year.
- Flexible Instruction Days (FID) [Remote Learning Days] will be announced in advance when inclement weather is known. This means remote learning days will only be called when the district has had time to prepare and communicate with students, families, and staff. Remote Learning Days will require all students to complete work on their iPads; therefore, the iPads will be sent home before the Remote Learning Day.
Please note that the District will NOT shift from a 2-hour delay to a Flexible Instruction Day. If conditions require the District to change course after calling a two-hour delay, the day will become a traditional snow day, not a Flexible Instruction Day.
What other factors are at work when inclement weather threatens?
The Dover Area School District school bus transportation system is a massive operation. Full-size buses, minibusses, and small vans transport approximately 3,600 students to various District and non-public schools. The most severe conditions within our school district are the basis for the decision-making criteria.
As always, please use your best judgment of local conditions if you feel sending your child to school is unsafe. Student drivers are encouraged to use school buses if road conditions are not ideal or if severe weather is possible.
Snow Make Up Days
We will update the calendar on our website with snow make-up days and the tentative date of the last student day of school if make-up days are needed. Please be aware that our last student day could change due to many necessary school closures.
Determining a 2-Hour Delay
There are several reasons for a 2-hour delay. For our young drivers and staff, it allows them to drive in the daylight and avoid rush hour traffic. For our maintenance staff, it provides extra time to plow parking lots, clear sidewalks, and make sure each of the building’s heating systems is working correctly. For all our students and staff, it offers a safer commute in daylight and gives extra time for roads and sidewalks to clear. For our busing service, they may need additional time to dig out and clear the buses to begin their bus route. For the state and local road crews, it allows extra time to clear the roads of snow and debris. For the administration, it provides time to make sure all of the above has happened and students and staff have a safe environment. Sometimes, the 2-hour delay also allows time to see if the weather forecast and conditions require closing the school.
Process of Closing Schools Early
When weather conditions develop during the day and the district closes the schools early, high school students will be dismissed first, followed by middle school students and then elementary students. Parents of elementary students should have an emergency plan prepared in case of an early dismissal. The district will announce the early dismissal via our website, Facebook/Twitter, a Skyward Mass Notification email and phone call, and postings at media outlets.
For Parents/Guardians Only
Dover Area School District lets parents control how they want to be notified about school news, emergency alerts (including school closures and delays due to severe weather), attendance, and low meal balance through Skyward.
Get notified in 3 easy steps!
1. Log into your Skyward Family Access account via a web browser and click the Skylert button.
*Contact your school office if you need to know your Skyward login.
2. Edit any of your information.
3. Choose the types of alerts you want to receive alerts by phone, email, or text/SMS, and click Save on the upper left side of the screen. Changes in the system will take effect the following day.
Do you need your Skyward login? Please get in touch with your school.