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?
The transportation director and other staff members will begin driving routes as early as 4:30 A.M. to test road conditions. Weather reports are reviewed from multiple agencies, such as: National Weather Service, city and county road crews on their findings during the early morning hours. The transportation director will update the superintendent, who is also in close contact with city officials, local authorities, and neighboring school districts to determine the safety of the roads in their respective areas.
As soon as possible, the superintendent will decide about school delays and/or closures, so staff and students can be notified. The superintendent considers several factors in making the final decision: weather predictions, time of day, wind-chill and road conditions.
Q. Where will information be posted regarding school delays and closings?
Hamilton Southeastern Schools will notify staff, students and parents by phone call, text and e-mail through Skylert (please check that your settings are correct in Skyward Family Access). Information is also posted in the following places:
HSE Schools Website: www.hseschools.org
Local Media: WTHR WISH TV Fox 59 CBS 4 WRTV
Q. My part of the city is safe to drive. Why are we delaying and/or closing school?
HSE Schools encompasses a 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. While your neighborhood may be passable, that does not mean that buses can safely take children to school in ALL parts of the district.
Q. My streets are pretty slick. Why wasn’t school delayed and/or closed?
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/county snow removal procedures. Additionally, nearby districts may receive slightly different weather 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 closing school. Waiting until morning allows us to drive the roads and decide what is best for staff and students based on real-time weather and road conditions.
Q. Why does HSE have a two-hour 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 two-hour delay?
A two-hour 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 safely, and students are not left waiting outside at the bus stop in the cold. A two-hour delay will also allow city road crews enough time to plow or treat the roadways.
Q. What will the school day look like during a two-hour delay?
Doors to all K-12 buildings will open two-hours later than normal. Breakfast will not be served during a two-hour delay, but lunch will be served.
Dismissal for all students will take place at the normal time.
Q. How will the two-hour delay affect when my child gets picked up in the morning?
Buses will run on a two-hour delay for pick-up. For example, if your child gets picked up normally at 7:00 A.M. on delay start days, your child will be picked up at 9:00 A.M.
Q. What type of learning/instruction will take place when school is closed due to weather?
Q. What does an emergency closure day look like for students in Pre-K through 6?
- Students in grades PK-6 will participate in eLearning.
- Students in grades 7-12 will participate in synchronous virtual instruction. Students should check Canvas to confirm their schedule for that day.
Students will receive online instructional content provided by their teachers. Teachers will have eLearning content posted to Canvas no later than 9:00 A.M. of an eLearning day. For grades PK-6, eLearning will be communicated in the eLearning section of the teacher’s Canvas course. These lessons will relate to specific content areas including related arts. Students will have access to their teachers via email or another method communicated by the teacher (this would include ENL and Exceptional Learners). Teachers will let students know how and when they will be available.
As a general guideline, eLearning assignments/activities should take between 20-30 minutes per class/content area. At the PK-6 level where assignments/activities blend across multiple content areas, the teacher will communicate about how long the assignment/activity should take to complete.
Q. When will an eLearning assignment be due for students in grades PK-6?
Teachers will communicate the due date to their students. Typically, an eLearning assignment for an emergency closure day will be due by 4 P.M. on the second day we are back in school. For example, if we have an eLearning day on a Tuesday and Wednesday but are back in school on Thursday, the Tuesday eLearning assignment will be due by 4 P.M. on Friday and the Wednesday eLearning assignment will be due by 4 P.M. on Monday.
Q. When will assignments be due for students in grades 7-12?
In most cases, assignments given will be due the next time the class meets. Teachers will communicate the due date to their students to avoid confusion.
Q. Will the assignments during an emergency closure be taken for a grade?
Teachers will have discretion to determine if an eLearning assignment will count for a grade or not. Teachers for students in grades 7-12 will communicate to their students as to when the assignments are due and if they will be taken for a grade.
Q. What if students have questions about their assignments?
In grades PK-6, teachers will communicate to their students how they may be reached for questions or concerns.
Q. What should I do if I need to get in contact with a school counselor?
Students and or parents should feel free to e-mail the school counselor. The school counselors at all levels will monitor e-mail for questions from families.
Q. 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 in grades PK-6 will have the opportunity to access their device and complete assignments in a timely manner. Students in grades 7-12 should always carry their devices with them from school each day.
Q. How does my student log into Canvas?
Canvas resources for students, including log in information can be found here.
Q. How will attendance be taken?
Q. Will all after-school activities be canceled if school is closed?
- For students in grades PK-6, attendance will be taken by students logging into Canvas on the eLearning day.
- For students in grades 7-12, attendance will be taken as their class meets via Zoom.
Typically, after-school student activities will be canceled when school has been closed all day. Please check your school's website for specific information.