Weather-Related School Closings: Everything You Ever Needed to Know

Wintry weather made a late appearance this year; here is a reminder about a few winter-related policies and procedures.  

TPS FOLLOWS THE DECISIONS OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA - check local media outlets regularly for information.
TPS and most other independent schools in our area generally do not make individual judgments regarding closing because unlike larger school districts, we do not know the road conditions in the various neighborhoods in which students and teachers live.

Decisions are based on safety considerations. School is closed when snow or other severe weather events create hazardous conditions – for buses, cars, and pedestrians. Conditions in Center City often do not represent conditions throughout our city, and many of our students and faculty do not live in Center City. 

If the School District is open, TPS is open. If the School District is open WITHOUT transportation, we are open, but no morning or afternoon bus service will be provided to our students.

PROCEDURES REGARDING INCLEMENT WEATHER SCHOOL CLOSINGS

If the School District of Philadelphia is closed due to snow and/or extreme weather, TPS will close.  This policy  applies to

  • full-day closings
  • mid-day closings
  • and cancellations of after-school activities
  • late morning opening

What to expect if we need to close school:

▪ If school is closed for the day

Families will be contacted by TPS by email and text as soon as the School District makes its decision – generally by 6am. Occasionally the School District makes its decision the night before a closing; we will notify you as soon as we hear. The TPS website will also have a banner announcing that school is closed.  Again, we follow the School District because of safety considerations.

▪ If school closes mid-day

If the weather becomes increasingly inclement during the day, please make sure you check in regularly with local media outlets to listen for an early closing announcement by the School District. Please do not call the school to check to see if we are closing; if everyone were to call, that would add up to a lot of phone calls! We will email and text parents as soon as we hear an announcement from the School District.  Please make sure you will be available to receive our communication.

Please email Teri Lawson if you need to convey a change of dismissal for your grade 1-8 child because of the early closure; email Keisha Smith for preschool and kindergarten. Buses will be dispatched at the closing time announced by the School District. We will not put a child on a bus without confirming with the family first. We will not send a child home with anyone other than individuals for whom the school has parent authorization.

If at all possible, escorts should not enter the Lombard Street office unless there is a need to speak to a receptionist. Children in preschool and kindergarten should be picked up in their classrooms and grades 1-3 in the Multipurpose Room. Grades 4-8 will meet escorts outside under the overhang. Independent walkers/public transit riders will leave at the early dismissal time (unless we are notified otherwise).

▪ If school remains open until normal dismissal time BUT afterschool activities are canceled

We will email and text parents to let you know that after school activities have been canceled. Please make sure you will be available throughout the day to receive our communication. Please let the school know via email if your child should take the bus home or is being picked up by someone other than a usual escort; email Teri Lawson (grades 1-8) or Keisha Smith  (preschool and kindergarten). Again, we will not send a child home with anyone who is not authorized to take him/her. Children in preschool and kindergarten should be picked up in their classrooms; grades 1-3 in the Multipurpose Room. Grades 4-8 will meet escorts outside under the overhang.

Safe dismissal is our priority, and dismissing all our students at the same time, when there are likely to be many changes in dismissal, requires staff attention and care. We ask families to familiarize themselves with the information in this email and to please be patient during times when we have to facilitate a mid-day dismissal or when we have to cancel after school activities. Once again, if at all possible, escorts should not enter the Lombard Street office unless there is a need to speak to a receptionist.

• Late morning opening
If the School District announces that public schools will open an hour, 2 hours, etc. late, we will, too. For students taking the school bus, pick-up time will be the same amount of time later.

PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE RARE CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN TPS IS CLOSED AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA IS OPEN. THERE IS ALSO THE POSSIBILITY THAT SEVERE INCLEMENT WEATHER WILL OCCUR ON A DAY THAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS CLOSED ALREADY FOR ANOTHER REASON, SUCH A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY. IF YOU DO NOT HEAR AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS THAT THE DISTRICT IS EITHER OPEN OR CLOSED, MAKE SURE TO LOOK OUT FOR AN EMAIL OR TEXT FROM TPS AND CHECK THE SCHOOL WEBSITE.

Thanks so much. Now that we are prepared, perhaps there will be no snow!