Snow Day Secrets Revealed

Posted on December 28, 2010 by


As soon as the temperature drops and meteorologist Ed Hanna utters one word about a ten percent chance of snow, the familiar expression We’re getting out early! spreads through the halls of Fleetwood Area High School. Whether the statement is true or not, most students immediately become distracted in the hopes that school will let out a few minutes early. For some, what is even more thrilling is waking up to see a thickly laid coat of snow on the streets.  But in the excitement of the moment, most students will not give a single thought to the time and processes school officials go through to make a closing decision.

“Dr. [Paul] Eaken, the superintendent of schools, makes the final call on any closings or delays,” said FAHS Principal Michael DeAntonio.

Eaken considers several factors in his decision-making.  He begins by investigating whether or not there is a winter storm warning. When a winter storm warning goes into effect, hazardous weather is occurring or is likely to occur and could produce a threat to people’s safety. If Dr. Eaken sees this warning, he begins his investigation at approximately 4:00 a.m. because he must reach his conclusion by 6:00 a.m.

Eaken utilizes several resources while determining whether a school delay or cancellation is appropriate. He may call some of the surrounding townships and school districts to get their opinions on issues, including road safety conditions for both individual and bus transportation.  This can often become a challenging process when the district is spread over a wide area with wide variances in road conditions. Local police departments also aid the district by supplying information on any road closings and snow emergencies.

Snow is not the only reason that the Fleetwood Area School District may close. Loss of power can result in a closing because of an inability to heat the school, which, in turn, will create unsafe situations indoors. Harsh winds that move debris into the road can make travel conditions for busses extremely difficult and potentially dangerous to passengers.  Bus issues such as frozen engines have also been known to prompt a delayed start.

Whatever the final decision may be, the delay or closing is announced on radio stations and television stations in order to inform students. The Rapid Notification System is also used for weather-related issues, and the parent or guardian who is listed in the student database first will be notified through this system.  Most importantly, you can check back at for up-to-the-minute reports on FAHS delays and cancellations.

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