AllentownSchool District

Inclement Weather FAQ

 Weather Related Delays and School Closures - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

How does the Allentown School District make inclement weather-related decisions? 
  • ASD has 26 schools that are open to students on a daily basis. Additionally, our staff reports to the Administration Center, Facilities Building, Technology Services, JBC Stadium, and the School Supply Warehouse. All buildings and parking lots must be cleared of snow for a safe school opening.
  • ASD is largely a walking District and nearly all of our 17,000 students are within walking distance of their designated home school and do not receive bus transportation. However, the District is responsible for transporting students with special needs, those who attend charter and non-public schools and LCTI students.
  • ASD contracts with an outside transportation vendor, First Student, to provide transportation to roughly 5,560 students on 141 vehicles.  Vehicles that serve ASD students are often on the road as early as 5:40 AM.
  • ASD also takes into consideration that many of our secondary students utilize LANTA routes that service middle/high schools and if those routes will be impacted by weather.
  • In some of our older schools we only have warmings kitchens, so the food is prepared in another school kitchens and then delivered to the sites. During inclement weather, we assess if the weather will impact the ability of our facilities team to deliver food to these schools in an adequate time frame so that all children can receive lunch each day.

When the forecast calls for snow, our administrative team closely monitors a variety of factors including:

  • Multiple local and national weather services and their various forecasts analyzed to determine the most likely winter weather scenario.
  • Timing of the storm - the potential impact on opening and closing times at each school
  • Amount of forecasted snow - If there is a "plowable" amount of snowfall (4 or more inches) snowfall, ASD needs eight hours to clear all district buildings/facilities and parking lots. Additionally, First Student must clear snow from the roofs of all 141 vehicles, a process that takes several hours.
  • Type of forecasted snow - light snow, wet snow, freezing rain, etc. create different types of challenges for our staff when clearing school parking lots and sidewalks.
  • Road conditions -  ASD communicates with local and city municipalities regarding road conditions and the status of their plowing operations. ASD employees drive the roads during the overnight hours to assess conditions.
  • Sidewalk conditions - ASD also assess the condition of neighborhood sidewalks for walkers. Dangerous sidewalks encourage walkers to walk on streets, creating dangerous conditions.
  • Post-storm conditions - temperatures and wind chills after a winter weather event may impact the speed of cleanup operations, road conditions and how effective de-icing/salting efforts are.  

Based on an assessment of the above factors, a decision to delay the start of school or to close school is made as close to 5:00 AM as possible, allowing adequate time to notify the ASD community.

The most immediate method of communication in the event of a delay or closure is a voicemail via School Messenger to parents, guardians, and staff who provide the District with an accurate and accessible phone number. To ensure that you receive all communication in a timely manner, please contact your building principal and request that your information is updated in all District computer systems, including the School Messenger Notification System.

When appropriate and for delays, closings or other emergency information, ASD provides information to trusted news outlets such as the Morning Call and WFMZ. Closures or delays will also be posted on all District and school websites, District/school social media channels.

ASD Facebook
ASD Twitter 

In the event of an early dismissal, the Allentown School District will do its best to ensure that all students receive lunch before school is closed. In the event of a delayed opening, no breakfast will be served, and lunch times are adjusted accordingly. 

Weather