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School Closing Procedures Detailed at Board Meeting

The district administration outlines its policy for getting the word out to parents and students.

"Deciding to close school is my least favorite decision," said superintendent Dr. David Goodin while discussing school closing procedures during Monday night's board meeting. 

Goodin spoke on the closing policy and procedure so that the board and the public are aware of how the decisions are made and communicated. 

Goodin said he prefers to make the decision the night before if possible, but if it needs to be made on a school day his day starts at about 4:30am with a phone call with other area superintendents to discuss conditions.

The district's transportation manager is often out on the road checking conditions, as well.

"We make the decision based on the available data," Goodin said. "All this is going on between 4:30am and about 5:15am." 

The dsitrct then starts a chain of contacts that starts with calling Assistant Superintendent Allyn Roche and the transportation companies. 

Roche contacts Steve Boretz, business manager Tim Anspach and Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center administrator Joe Greb.

Boretz activates the Skylert system so student families will receive alerts, while Anspach contacts KYW 1060 (Spring-Ford's school closing number is 308) and Channel 6 with school closing information.

When a situation requires updates, like the transformer problems in October, the district will get word out via Skylert, the district Twitter account and SchoolTube. Media alerts will also go out.

Goodin acknowledged that one issue with the transformer situation was that the district computer systems, including phones and Skyward, were offline due to the power outage, making it very difficult to get updates out. 

The district has solved that problem by putting all the vital computer systems on their own backup generator. 

There are also plans in place if a long-term problem were to occur at a building.

Goodin said that the district will have to make up days lost during the transformer outage and Hurricane Sandy. 

Goodin told Patch that it is likely that they will move several inservice days to the end of the year so that school still ends in mid-June. 

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