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Inclement Weather Closings and Delays FAQ

Student and staff safety is the most important consideration when inclement weather forces decisions to delay or cancel school. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we receive regarding inclement weather:
Q: How is the decision made to delay or cancel school for inclement weather?
Transportation Director Zach McKinney and members of his department will begin driving routes as early as 4:30 A.M. to test road conditions. He also reviews weather reports from multiple agencies, such as the National Weather Service and consults with city and county road crews on their findings during the early morning hours. The transportation director will update Superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff, who is also in close contact with city officials, local authorities and neighboring school districts to determine the safety of the roads in the area. 

As soon as possible, the superintendent will make a decision about school delays and/or cancellations, so that staff and students can be notified. The superintendent considers several factors in making the final decision: weather predictions, time of day, wind-chill factor and road conditions.
Q: Where will information be posted regarding school delays and closing?
Hamilton Southeastern Schools will notify staff, students and parents via phone call, text and e-mail (please check your settings in Skyward Family Access). The information is also posted in the following places:
Twitter: @HSESchools
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSESchools/
HSE Schools Website: www.hseschools.org
Fox 59

Skylert is our phone, text and e-mail alert system. Choose which notifications to receive and how you want to receive them by logging into your Skyward Family Access account. 
Q. My part of the city is safe to drive. Why are we delaying and/or cancelling school?
HSE Schools encompasses a wide-variety of roads and terrain, including areas with narrow, steep hills that can become impassible in certain weather conditions, and rural areas where snow removal can be challenging. Your part of the city may be passable, but that does not mean that buses can safely take children to school in all parts of HSE.
Q: Will all after-school activities be canceled if school is closed?
Typically, after-school student activities will be cancelled when school has been closed all day. Please check the district website and/or your school's website for specific information.
Q. My streets are pretty slick. Why wasn’t school delayed and/or cancelled?
We encourage parents and teenage drivers to use extreme caution when driving in less than ideal conditions. Again, while your neighborhood might have more difficult driving conditions, other areas may not.
Q. Other districts are delaying and/or closing for weather. Why aren’t we?
Each district has its own unique set of weather, roads and city or county snow removal procedures. Additionally, nearby districts may receive slightly different weather or have different road conditions. We drive routes throughout our district to make sure that buses and cars can get through and make the decision based on the specific conditions within HSE Schools.
Q. Why are school delays and/or closure decisions not made the night before?
Weather is very unpredictable in Central Indiana. Frequently predictions of snowfall, ice or extreme cold do not always result in conditions that would justify delaying or cancelling school. Waiting until morning allows us to drive the roads and make the call based on actual weather and road conditions. 
Q. Why does HSE have a delay instead of closing for the day?
This option allows us to keep students and staff safety as a top priority, while also maximizing instructional time during the regularly scheduled school year.
Q. When will HSE Schools use a delay?
A delay may be issued due to a variety of weather concerns, such as snow, ice or extreme cold temperatures. When the temperatures dip below a certain point, it’s not only potentially hazardous for our students to be outside for extended periods of time, but our buses may also have trouble starting. Temperatures occasionally warm up later in the morning, enabling our buses to depart for their routes on-time, and students are not left waiting outside at the bus stop in the cold. A delay will also allow city road crews enough time to plow or treat the roadways.

Q. Is there a specific wind chill temperature that would result in a weather delay?

If the wind chill is measured at -17 below at the time of school bus routes, this could result in delay or cancelation.  Transportation will be monitoring the morning temperatures and will alert families if there is a weather delay or cancelation required. 
Q. What will the school day look like during a delay?
Doors to all K-8 buildings will open later than normal. The doors at the high schools will be open to students arriving early. Breakfast will not be served at the elementary schools during a delay, but lunch will be served on-time. Breakfast and lunch will be served at the intermediate, junior high and high schools.
Dismissal for all students will take place at the normal time.
Q. How will the delay affect when my child gets picked up in the morning?
Every school and bus pick up will start later than usual. For example, if there is a two-hour delay and your child gets picked up normally at 6:58 A.M. with a two-hour delay, your child will be picked up at 8:58 A.M.

HSE eLearning Resource

What is an eLearning day?

An eLearning day is an IDOE-approved instructional day that can be used to make up instructional time using technology. HSE Schools will be utilizing an eLearning day as a makeup day for inclement weather or a valid school closure event. An official eLearning date will be declared for attendance purposes; however, students will have a ‘window’ of dates to complete their assignments.

What does an eLearning day look like for students?

Students will receive online instructional content provided by their teachers. These lessons will be interactive and relate to the curriculum for the specific class. Students will have access to their teachers via email or another method communicated by the teacher. Teachers will let students know how and when they will be available. Teachers will have eLearning content available no later than 9:00 a.m. of an eLearning day. For grades K-4, eLearning will be communicated in the eLearning section of the teacher’s Canvas course. For grades 5-12, eLearning will be communicated via the announcement section in Canvas.

As a general guideline, eLearning assignments/activities should take between 20-30 minutes per class/content area. At the K-4 level where assignments/activities blend across multiple content areas, teacher will communicate about how long the assignment/activity should take to complete.

How many eLearning days can occur?

An eLearning day will occur for the make-up of an inclement weather day or valid school closure event. According to the IDOE, there is no limit on the number of eLearning days a school district can have. HSE will strive to keep the number of consecutive eLearning Days in consideration, yet student safety will always be most important.

When will an eLearning assignment be due?

An eLearning assignment will be due by 4pm on the third day we are back in school. For example, we have eLearning on a Tuesday and Wednesday but back in school on Thursday. The Tuesday eLearning assignment will be due by 4pm on Monday and the Wednesday eLearning assignment will be due by 4pm on Tuesday. Teachers will communicate the due date to their students to avoid confusion.

Will the eLearning work be taken for a grade?

Teachers will have discretion to determine if an eLearning assignment will count for a grade or not.

What if students have questions about their assignments?

Teachers will communicate to their students how they may be reached for questions or concerns. Likewise, students can ask questions to their teachers when at school during the open window time of the eLearning event.

What if the student does not have their device at home? What if the student does not have access to the internet?

Students may complete eLearning assignments on any device available to them and use any internet connection available to them (friend’s house, library, etc.). Because there is a window of time to complete the assignments, students will have the opportunity to access their device and complete assignments in a timely manner.

How does my student log into Canvas? Canvas resources for students, including log in information, can be found here.

How will attendance be taken?

Attendance will be taken by students logging into Canvas on the eLearning day.

I am not a typical classroom teacher (Teacher Librarian, Counselor, School Psych, etc.), how do I account for the eLearning day?

Anyone being paid as a certified staff member is expected to account for their time during e-Learning. Building principals, in conjunction with department heads and teachers, are directed to develop a list of meaningful activities that can be performed by each of those teacher groups that are not directly assigned students (including, but not limited to: counselors, media specialists, special education). The list of activities must be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent/H.R. prior to the start of each school year. Activities can include conferences and future staff development programs that occur on non-contracted days. Teachers must submit to the building principal at the end of each eLearning day, those activities that were utilized. Principals are expected to keep an active file accounting for teacher activities. These files can be requested by the Central Office for the purpose of documentation of activities.

If you have further questions regarding the eLearning day(s), we encourage you to speak with your teachers.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

  • Central Office
  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
  • Office Hours: M - F 7:30am - 4:30pm 
  • (317) 594-4100  (800) 905-6665

  • To send a general inquiry email to the District Administration Office, click here

Our Mission

Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides excellence in education and opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.

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