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2017-2018 Inclement Weather Guidelines

2017-2018 PARENT/GUARDIAN GUIDELINES
FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER

HOW IS THE DECISION TO CLOSE SCHOOLS MADE?

The decision to open or close schools due to inclement weather is based on a careful analysis of
all relevant factors such as:

• Information on road conditions from transportation staff and other city officials. We
must give careful consideration to the road conditions in the entire area. Even if your
street looks clear, travel elsewhere in the area may be dangerous.
• Amount of snow and ice accumulated
• Precipitation timeframe
• Building conditions, such as whether we have electricity and heat
• Parking lot and walkway conditions on and around the school’s campus
• Temperature and wind chill factors. Please remember that some of our students walk
to school and some must wait outside for the bus.
• Weather predictions. While we prefer not to make decisions based on weather
predictions, which are not always accurate, sometimes this is unavoidable.
• What other local school districts are doing. Universal charter schools are closed if
schools in the School District of Philadelphia are closed.

 WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
The Senior Executive Vice President of Education makes the final decision, based on the above
factors.
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
When the decision to close or delay the opening of schools is made, an announcement will be
made via the following local media and school communication systems:
• Radio and TV notification – Tune in to CBS 3, ABC 6, NBC 10, CW Philly 57 Universal
Charter Schools will be scrolled across the bottom of the screen), and KWY News Radio
1060 (Broadcast Number 1348).
• School Messenger phone notification system – The school’s notification system calls
phone numbers that are on the file in our student information database. To update
your phone number information, please contact the building secretary of your child’s
school.
• Universal Companies’ website – www.universalcompanies.org

WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
Every effort is made to announce a school closing as quickly as possible, so we can notify radio,
TV stations, and communicate the news effectively.
WHAT IS A TWO-HOUR DELAY?
Universal sometimes utilizes a two-hour delayed opening to allow additional time for road
crews to complete their work. In the case of a two-hour delay, buses will run their regular
routes two hours later than the regular pick up time. For example, if the regular pick up time is
7:45 AM, the pick up time when there is a two-hour delay will be 9:45 AM. Lunch will be
served. Field trips that are scheduled for the day will be canceled. Dismissal time will remain
the same.
WHEN WILL SCHOOLS CLOSE EARLY? (EARLY DISMISSAL)
Despite our best efforts to make the decision to open or close schools, there are times when
schools are open and the weather conditions become worse during the school day. Considering
the factors that were listed above, Universal may have to close schools early due to inclement
weather. When this decision is made, Universal will use the local media and school
communication systems that are listed above. Breakfast and lunch will be served.
HOW WILL INCLEMENT WEATHER AFFECT AFTERSCHOOL AND SATURDAY PROGRAMS?
If Universal schools are closed for the day, have a two-hour delayed opening, or early dismissal
due to inclement weather, there will be no afterschool programs. If schools are closed on
Friday due to inclement weather, all Saturday programs and events are cancelled.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PLAN FOR THESE TYPES OF EVENTS?
Please consider making contingency plans with responsible, adult neighbors, friends or
relatives, to assure that your child has adult supervision and a safe place to go in case of school
closings, two-hour delayed openings, or early dismissals. If you have young children, please
talk with them about these alternate arrangements and “practice” what they are to do. Make
sure your school has the most recent contact numbers for you and an alternate number for
someone else in your family that can assist with these arrangements. (e.g., relative, neighbor)
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES RELATED TO INCLEMENT WEATHER?
Although Universal does its absolute best in this process, we know that inclement weather
poses many challenges for our families. If you do not feel as though it is safe for your child to
attend school because of the inclement weather, please use your best judgment. Also, please
discourage your teenager from driving to school in inclement weather.

I hope this communication is helpful in understanding the process that the Universal Family of
Schools uses to make the best possible decision for the safety of all during times of inclement
weather. For questions, comments, or concerns about our inclement weather procedures and
notification system, please contact the Central Office at 215-391-4161.


Posted: January 8th, 2018