Information Regarding Closings and Delays

This document provides useful information regarding school closings and delays.  

Frequently Asked Questions about Delays and Closings at ECS

When will I know if schools are closed or a 2-hour delay?When a decision can be made the preceding night, ECS will follow the guidelines of the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and will attempt to make an announcement by 10 p.m. In most cases, PPS decisions are made in the morning. It is PPS’s goal to make a decision to have a 2-hour delay or close schools by 5 a.m. However, most decisions are announced between 5:00 AM and 6:30 AM.  ECS will communicate this information to families immediately after the announcement by Constant Contact, the ECS Facebook Page, the ECS Twitter handle (@ECSInnovator), and the ECS web page (www.environmentalcharterschool.org).  There will be no announcement if schools are open as scheduled.

Who makes the decision to have a 2-hour delay or close schools?  At PPS, the Superintendent, the Chief Operations Officer, and the Director of Transportation make the decision based upon current weather conditions, weather forecasts and road conditions.  At ECS, the CEO verifies or changes the decision if the closure is site-based.  For example, if ECS has a heat failure/pipe burst at a building, the ECS CEO may change a PPS-issued two-hour delay to a school closure.

What if the schools are open, but I decide to keep my child home during inclement weather? If a decision is made for schools to remain open, parents/guardians have the option to keep their children home for health and safety reasons. Parents/guardians are ultimately responsible for making this decision. If you decide to keep your child home in any situation, including inclement weather, you should call the school to report your child’s absence. A written explanation of the absence must be provided to the homeroom teacher upon return to the school within three (3) days. Failure to provide a written explanation of the absence within three (3) days will result in an unlawful or unexcused absence.

How do I find out if schools have a 2-hour delay or are closed?When the decision to have a 2-hour delay or to close schools is finalized, PPS informs local radio and television stations.  ECS will communicate this information to families immediately after the PPS announcement by Constant Contact, the ECS Facebook Page, the ECS Twitter handle (@ECSInnovator), and the ECS web page (www.environmentalcharterschool.org).  ECS also posts delay and closing information on WPXI.

What if my family does not reside in the district and my home district calls a delay or cancellation –differently from PPS? If a district other than PPS calls for a delay and PPS has not come to that decision, your children will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will not be marked tardy. If students ride buses, they will come by bus 2 hours after the usual time. If you can transport them sooner, we will certainly welcome them when they come! If your home district calls off, and PPS does not, it is your decision to bring your child to school, always keeping safety in mind.

Are employees on duty when schools are closed? Under normal circumstances when schools are closed, employees do not report to school.  Schools are not able to provide care for children who arrive when buildings are closed.

What time should my child report to school when there is a 2-hour delay? In the instance of a 2-hour delay, all students must report to school exactly 2-hours after their schools normal start time.  Upper School drop off may begin at 10:00 after a 2-hour delay.  Lower School drop may begin at 10:15 after a 2-hour delay. The same is true for the time your child should report to the bus stop.  For example, if your child normally boards the bus at 7:30, be prepared to board the bus at 9:30 after a 2-hour delay. The breakfast program is canceled on school days when a 2-hour delay occurs.

What happens if the weather worsens during the school day? The PPS transportation department tries to avoid unexpected early dismissals. However, on occasion, early dismissal is unavoidable. Please make sure ECS has accurate telephone numbers and emergency contact information. When it is necessary to dismiss children during the regular school day, ECS will contact local media and provide as much advance notice as possible. If weather conditions worsen and schools remain open, families may choose to pick up their children early after informing school staff.

What provisions are made for before or after school activities when schools have 2-hour delays or are closed? All school-sponsored after-school activities/clubs are cancelled when an early dismissal or school closing occurs due to inclement weather conditions. Additionally, ECS E-Day will close at 4:30 if after-school events are cancelled, or an early dismissal is called.  Please be aware that Braddock, Forbes, and Penn Avenues bottleneck during rush hour, especially during poor weather.

What does ECS do when PPS has a schedule in-service day for teachers or students are scheduled to be “off” for the day?  In the event that inclement weather falls on a day that PPS students are scheduled off or that PPS teachers are scheduled for in-service, PPS still communicates delays and cancelations for transportation through the media outlets.  ECS will follow this guidance, as the majority of its students utilize PPS transportation to attend school. ECS will communicate this information to families immediately after the announcement by Constant Contact, the ECS Facebook Page, the ECS Twitter handle (@ECSInnovator), and the ECS web page (www.environmentalcharterschool.org).  There will be no announcement if schools are open as scheduled.

If there is a situation in which ECS chooses to close schools based on an emergency at one of the buildings, the CEO will make the decision and alert families immediately through Constant Contact, the ECS Facebook Page, the ECS Twitter handle (@ECSInnovator), and the ECS web page (www.environmentalcharterschool.org). 

Questions? Please contact the main office of your child’s school.

Upper School: 412.247.7970

Lower School: 412.242.1480