• Winter Weather Procedures for Closings & Delays 2022-23

    Download the following info in PDF format here.

    With the winter weather season approaching, we want to remind our families of the district’s procedures for delaying or canceling the school day to ensure you can plan accordingly and provide information about the district using Flexible Instruction Days instead of canceling classes due to inclement weather.

    The safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance to us, so the decision to delay or cancel classes is taken very seriously. The current road, weather conditions, temperature, and wind chill are considered during a winter weather event. We also consult with coordinators from the transportation company who travel the streets in the district to assess their safety. Please be aware that school delays or cancellations can also occur for unexpected reasons, such as an area water main break, power outage, or another significant event. Be sure you have appropriate plans if the district needs to delay, cancel, or dismiss students early.


    School Delays and Cancellations

    • The decision to delay or cancel school will be made and communicated whenever possible before 6 a.m. and, if possible, the night before. However, there are occasions when changing road and weather conditions will necessitate a later decision.


    • A one-call message will be sent to families notifying them of the delay or cancellation. Please make sure your phone number and email address are up to date. Contact the building your child attends to inform them if changes are required. The Highlands School District’s website will post any school delays or closures. Please visit www.goldenrams.com for information.


    • In addition to the one-call message and website, Highlands also notifies three local news stations: KDKA, WPXI, and WTAE. Please note that the school district does not control how quickly the information is updated on air. You may consider signing up for electronic alerts through the respective television stations.


    Early Dismissal Plans

    If the Highlands School District needs to dismiss school early, please ensure your family has appropriate childcare arrangements and dismissal plans. It is important to be sure that your emergency contact information is current. If the contact information needs to be updated, please log in to PowerSchool to make any necessary changes or contact your child’s school. Remember that parents/guardians always have the final determination as to whether or not to send their children to school. While we strive to make the best possible decisions in the given timeframe, unexpected winter weather issues may occur. Thank you for your support and assistance as we prepare for inclement weather.


    Flexible Instruction Days

    The Highlands School District will continue utilizing Flexible Instruction Days (FID) in place of unexpected, emergency school closures to eliminate the need to make up days. Specifically, the District will use FID days instead of cancellations for inclement weather for the 2022-2023 school year.

    If the district needs to cancel in-person instruction, all students will receive remote instruction through their district-issued devices. We encourage students to bring their devices home each evening during the winter months.

    Transportation will not be provided for students who attend a school outside of the district.

    Transportation will be provided for students who attend Forbes Road Technical school if they remain in session on the day Highlands is remote.

    The transition to a Flexible Instruction Day will be announced through a one-call message and posted on the district website.


    Flexible Instruction Days will operate on a one-hour delay schedule to allow students and staff to transition to remote instruction. The class start times will be as follows:

    High School:   8:45 a.m.

    Middle School:  9:10 a.m.

    Elementary School:  10:00 a.m.

    Primary Schools:  10:00 a.m.

    • All classes will require synchronous instruction (in real-time with live instruction).
    • All teachers will take attendance, and there will be minimum requirements for instructional minutes.
    • Students who do not participate during FID remote instruction will be marked with an unexcused absence unless a note is provided by a parent/guardian—the same procedures as a typical school day. Technical difficulties or connectivity issues should be reported to the classroom teacher. Students will not be penalized if there is an Internet issue. This can happen during inclement weather, and we will be flexible in these circumstances.

    Logging in during a Flexible Instruction Day:

      • Students will use Google Classroom and Zoom to participate in synchronous instruction.
      • Classroom teachers will share specific directions with students and families on connecting to their class.


    School Nurse Virtual Sessions: If you need to contact your child's school nurse, the school nursing staff will be holding virtual office hours from 9:00 AM- 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM- 2:00 PM when our schools shift to remote instruction due to inclement weather or other emergencies. You may begin a virtual session with a Highlands school nurse by clicking on the link below.  

    Nurse Zoom Links

    HECC: https://goldenrams.zoom.us/j/9181465804?pwd=ZXEzNWdPS2ltb2I1SFJacmlPOXJBQT0

    HES: https://goldenrams.zoom.us/j/7033477457?pwd=Mk4rR1hOblBubFZQdUJSendidm44QT09 

    HMS: https://goldenrams.zoom.us/j/2700695709?pwd=YUFwTDYwRFlxdkZ5MTJUU3Rmekhpdz09 

    HHS: https://goldenrams.zoom.us/j/6062946168?pwd=MXFmbnNKOTZ6dmpITWJ3aXpYMjBXQT09 


    School Counselor Virtual Sessions: If you need to contact your child's school counselor, the counseling staff will be holding virtual office hours from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM and 12:00 PM-2:00 PM when our schools shift to remote instruction due to inclement weather or other emergencies. You may begin a virtual session with a Highlands School District counselor by clicking on the correct link below. 

    Counselor Zoom Links 

    Julie Hiester: Middle School 7th/8th Counselor



    Julie Seitz-Allman Middle School 5th/6th Counselor



    Mary Beth Carrarini: High School Counselor for students with last names beginning with J - Sj



    Angela Boyer: Highlands Elementary School Counselor



    Dr. Susie Gurrera: High School Counselor for students with last names beginning with A-I



    Marilyn Skwortz: High School Counselor for students with last names beginning with Sk-Z  & HECC School Counselor