Dear Parents & Guardians:
With the winter season upon us once again, we want you to have an understanding of the decision-making process
to close or delay school. We fully understand that this impacts families greatly. We also understand that our
students are better served – both academically and socially – by being in school. But, as always, our top priority is
student safety when the weather is inclement. Let’s do this through a question-and-answer format.
HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
Please understand that we make the decision to open or close our schools in bad weather based on a careful
analysis of many factors, such as:
• Information on road conditions from the borough. While we are a walking district, we still want to ensure a
safe walk to and from school. Also, many high school students drive to school, albeit not far, but drive they do.
• Amount of snow and ice accumulated.
• Whether precipitation is continuing.
• Building and grounds conditions. We need to ensure that walkways and parking lots are safe. We also monitor
power issues related to heat and electricity.
• Weather predictions. We prefer not make our decision based on weather predictions, which are not always
accurate. But when something is expected to begin at 6:00 a.m., we are entirely dependent on TV meteorologists.
• Decisions made by neighboring districts. We share information with other local districts and check whether
they are opening or closing. Many superintendents (colleagues in adjacent districts) and I talk early on an
WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
As superintendent of schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors as well as critical
recommendations from our director of facilities through our BA (business administrator) and our transportation
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
You will receive an e-mail and text message from our school messaging system. Tune to local TV and radio
stations (KYW News Radio, CBS Philly, 6 ABC, NBC 10, Fox 29) for up-to-date information on school closings.
Our school’s number is 560. Also check our district website (www.haddonfieldschools.org) for information. Please
do not call the school phone number to seek school closure or delay information.
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
We try very hard to make the decision to delay or cancel by 5:30 a.m. or earlier. Sometimes we will delay school
if meteorologists are telling us a storm is ending at 6:00 a.m., only to cancel school later in the morning. We
understand that some parents must leave for work early and that this is an inconvenience, but we have to do our
best under very difficult conditions. Because Haddonfield is a walking district, there will be times we will be open
while other schools around us may close due to their buses having to traverse back roads. This is a plus for us
during a typical Northeast winter.
WHAT IS THE DELAY SCHEDULE FOR MY SCHOOL/GRADE?
A two-hour delay @ the high school: Start time is 9:57 am – 2:45 pm
A two-hour delay @ the middle school: Start time is 9:50 am – 2:50 pm
A two-hour delay @ all elementary schools: Start time is 10:25 am – 3:00 pm
A two-hour delay for kindergarten AM: Start time is 10:25 am – 12:55 pm
A two-hour delay for kindergarten PM: Start time is 12:30 am – 3:00 pm
A two-hour delay for preschool AM: Canceled
A two-hour delay for preschool PM: Start time is 12:45 am – 3:15 pm
WHEN WILL WE MAKE UP DAYS IF SCHOOL IS CLOSED?
The first weather-related school closing day is not “made up” because it is built into the calendar. The second makeup
day is Tuesday, February 19th. Beyond that we begin taking days from our spring break. The third make-up
day is Friday, April 26th, the fourth is Thursday, April 25th, the fifth is Wednesday, April 24th, the sixth is Tuesday,
April 23rd, and the seventh weather-related make-up day is Monday, April 22nd.
WILL WE CLOSE SCHOOL IF CONDITIONS WORSEN?
Keep in mind that, even if weather conditions worsen, we cannot reverse our decision in the morning without
endangering students. Once we make the decision to open the schools, many parents rely on it and leave for work.
If we then send students right back home, many will return to unsupervised homes. If conditions get worse as the
school day progresses, we may need to have any early dismissal, but we will give adequate notice to all parents first.
Although we all do our absolute best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision exists. If, based on
current weather conditions, you do not feel as though it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best
judgement on whether he or she should attend. Also, discourage teenagers from driving in bad conditions and
offer them alternatives if weather conditions worsen.
We hope that this explanation helps everyone understand the process we use to make the best possible decision for
everyone in our district.
Wishing you all a wonderful upcoming holiday season and a winter filled with warm coastal winds. At least that’s
Larry Mussoline, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools