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Weather related delays, cancellations and early dismissals
It was about one year ago when we experienced an unexpected November weather event. Remembering that event has caused me to think about weather related days, cancellations and early dismissals. I am often asked about the process that is used to make the decision whether or not to delay or close school. I thought I would take this opportunity to share what occurs when winter weather is predicted and a decision must be made.

When winter weather is anticipated, the process begins days before the actual weather event. I spend time each day reviewing various weather forecasts (I have six weather apps on my phone!) to compare and contrast what each forecaster is predicting. The frequency of checks increases as the day of the predicted event gets closer.

Once the day of the forecasted weather arrives, I am up between 3:30-4:00 a.m. to communicate with many different people. I attain information on the condition of the roads and for their opinions on the ability to safely open schools. Information from key individuals, such as the road masters in the townships and borough, Susquehanna Regional Police Department, our transportation contractor and our Director of Operations and Safety, is shared with me. I also communicate with the other superintendents in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties. Once I believe I have complete and accurate information, a decision is made on whether to hold school, delay or cancel. Early dismissals are an entirely different challenge, but process is generally the same. There are times when we can safely begin school, but the afternoon weather is predicted to be a challenge. That is when an early dismissal may be called.

The most important part of this decision is always student safety. We have students at bus stops, students that walk and student that drive to school. All of these students must be considered when making a decision about school.

There are times when I will get the decision right and times when I will be incorrect. Unfortunately, that is the danger of basing decisions on the best guess of a weather forecaster. If I have learned anything about making decisions related to weather, it is that weather can be very unpredictable. Sometimes, I will make a decision that turns out to not be the correct one.

I hope this has helped to clarify the process that occurs when winter weather is predicted and a decision must be made about school.

Here's hoping for a winter of easy decisions!

Dr. Lausch
Digital Media Communications and the Superintendent Update
September 11, 2019

At Donegal High School, a new course is occurring this year; Digital Media Communications. This exciting course allows students to explore a variety of media and its use in marketing and communications.

One of the first projects the students have undertaken is a monthly superintendent spotlight.
Each month, their work will be posted here to demonstrate their growth and to provide information related to the district. I hope you enjoy their work!

Dr. Lausch
Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year!
August 9, 2019

It has been a busy summer around Donegal, mostly due to the number of new staff we have needed to hire as a result of a large class of retirees at the end of the 2019-2019 year. While we lost many quality teachers to retirement, the new teachers we have hired are outstanding. I am excited for everyone to meet these new members of the tribe.

We also have some leadership changes that occurred within the district. There are three new principals (only one is new to Donegal) and two new assistant principals. At DIS, Mrs. Rachel Bruno is the principal. At DJHS, Mrs. Aura Heisey (formerly the assistant principal at DHS) is the principal. At DHS, Mr. John Haldeman (formerly the associate principal at DHS) is the principal. Mrs. Heather Hairhoger and Mrs. Nichole Roberts are joining us as assistant principals at DHS.

Each summer, many new things occur in each building. I wanted to share one highlight from each of our buildings:

Donegal Primary School – A Head Start classroom will be added into DPS.

Donegal Intermediate School – Students will engage in using robots and coding within the STEM classroom.

Donegal Junior High School – A new program called, “Bridge,” occurred this summer. The goal of the program is to improve the transition of students from grade 6 to grade 7.

Donegal High School – The addition of a new course offering for students: Digital Media Communications.

One of the most exciting things that occurs every year is the chance for a fresh start. It provides everyone an opportunity to build upon strengths and improve upon areas where growth may be necessary.

We have missed our Donegal families and are looking forward to seeing you in about two weeks! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Dr. Lausch