Community Letter

December 14, 2022

Dear Bensalem Community:

Weather emergencies are all very different and we do our best to handle the situation appropriately; student safety is always our main concern, as well as communicating effectively with our school community.

Please make sure to monitor our official communication portals: TalkingPoints, the School District Website, Facebook: BensalemTownshipSchoolDistrict, Twitter: @BensalemSchools.  We will also send a message via our Sapphire Notification System and School News App.  If you do not have our App, please sign up today.

We have a Weather Emergency Team that assembles during these events. This team consists of key Bensalem Township administrative, facilities and technology/communications staff. During a typical overnight weather event, we will begin our work at 4:00AM, consulting with other school administrators and local authorities about weather and road conditions. We do our best to make our decision by 5:00AM and begin communicating that decision to the community through our official communication portals. I realize that is early in the morning to receive phone calls; however, our transportation team is on the road by 5:30AM, the high school begins at 7:21AM and we have many employees who have significant commutes to work.

A 2-hour delayed opening will be called if there is a strong belief that weather and travel conditions will improve significantly throughout the morning. We like to make delayed opening announcements as soon as possible, as we know that it has a big impact on a working family’s morning arrangements. We strive to avoid early dismissals as we recognize that it is not an ideal situation to have students coming home before their parents. Sometimes this is unavoidable, especially in rapidly deteriorating conditions when it looks like things will be far worse at the end of the regular school day.

The Bensalem Township School District received permission from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to have 5 Flexible Instruction Days, also known as Remote Learning Days, that will count toward the 180-day mandated minimum of school.  Since BTSD does not build weather emergency days into the calendar, if there is severe weather, unless there is a strong possibility of power outages or other issues that could impact the effectiveness of a Remote Day, the school district will move to a Remote Learning Day.

This is what a Remote Learning Day will look like for your child:
Elementary Level (Grades 1-6):
1.    Asynchronous Instruction available via Google Classroom
2.    Attendance will be taken by completing a Google form in your child’s Google Classroom  
3.    Activities and Support Sessions will be posted by your child’s classroom teacher by 9:00AM.  
4.    Teachers will schedule two (2) support sessions where your child can Zoom with their teacher for assistance 
NOTE for Kindergarten Families: If the Remote Learning Day is planned, kindergarten students may bring a Chrome tablet home for asynchronous instruction.  Printed resources will be available for an unplanned remote day of learning. Completing the activities will count your child present for attendance purposes.   
Secondary Level (MS/HS):
1.    Asynchronous Instruction available via Schoology 
2.    Attendance is recorded automatically when logging in to Schoology 
3.    Activities and Support Sessions will be posted by your child’s teachers by 9:00AM.  
4.    Teachers will schedule two (2) support sessions where your child can Zoom with their teacher(s) for assistance
Additional Weather Emergency information can be found in our School Closing Brochure.

Best wishes for a happy, safe and joyful holiday season.
Samuel Lee, ED.D.
District Superintendent