INCLEMENT WEATHER AND SCHOOL CLOSING INFORMATION
THE CANCELLATION DILEMMA
The decision to hold or cancel school on a day of inclement weather is always a difficult one. When we cancel school on a winter snow day, it means our students rejoice, but parents may have childcare issues and ultimately, we have to add another day of school onto our June calendar. If we hold school on a difficult weather day, that may cause some students to miss school or to slip on snow and ice and get hurt on their way to or from school.
Weather prediction is an uncertain science when you live in New England. However, getting snow in winter is almost guaranteed. Since we will let the safety of our children guide our decision-making with regard to snow days, we ask all parents to make emergency alternative childcare arrangements should the day come when the children have no school or school is delayed.
WHAT FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED WHEN MAKING THE DECISION TO CLOSE SCHOOL?
The safety of all district children is our primary concern in making our decision. In deciding whether children will be safe, we look at the following factors:
· Information on road conditions from the towns' road commissioners and from the police
· Time snow starts to accumulate, and the amount of snow expected
· Weather predictions as to what is expected later in the day
· Building conditions (e.g. whether we have power and heat)
· Parking lot conditions
· Temperature and wind-chill
· The Department of Public Works prediction as to when roads, walkways and parking lots will be cleared
WHO IS WATCHING THE WEATHER?
The Superintendent of Schools, school administrators and public safety personnel, carefully monitor the weather conditions during the snow season. Our intention is to open schools, however, the timing of snow is unpredictable, and weather is changeable.
WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR INFORMATION?
School-district staff monitors state and local weather forecasts. The Town Department of Public Works (DPW) and Police Department officials test the road conditions and report the information to facilities staff. We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous bus routes in the district. So, even if it looks clear on your street, dangerous conditions may exist in other parts of our towns.
WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
The Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with DPW and the contracted transportation services will make the decision.
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
The Superintendent must make the decision at the earliest possible time, so that radio and TV stations can be notified. Many times the most important information is given at the 5:30 A.M. newscasts, since conditions could have changed overnight. The Superintendent will start the notification process of parents and staff as soon as possible with a target time of 5:30 A.M.
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
We use Blackboard Connect as our notification system. Parents and school district staff will receive messages via phone about the status of school opening/closing during inclement weather situations. Phone calls will be made beginning at 5:30 A.M. If you do not wish to receive a phone call early in the morning, please contact your child’s school to remove your number from our Blackboard Connect system.
The Vermont Association of Broadcasters maintains a web site for the exclusive use of radio & television stations to help inform their listeners and viewers about the latest school closings and delays. Please tune in your favorite local station for the latest closings and delays. Do not call the school unless it is an emergency.
WHAT IS THE PARENTS’ RESPONSIBILITY?
The safety of your child is first and foremost! On days when the weather is questionable but the schools are open, please feel free to exercise your parental discretion to keep your child home. Teachers will be flexible in accepting late work under such conditions. Parents of young drivers, please reinforce inclement weather skills with your child:
Ø Leave earlier
Ø Reduce speed
Ø Leave extra car lengths
Ø Do not worry about being late
Parents of drivers can choose to drive their child, or they may take the bus.
Also, please be advised that emails to our office are public records. We want feedback but in a respectful manner. We realize that our decisions will disappoint some of our community members, and please understand that our concern is safety.
As per school attendance regulations, students must attend school for a minimum of 176 days, and the school year must end by June 30th. If snow days exceed these days, we will adjust the school calendar to use school vacation time to make up days.
Thank you for planning in advance!
Addison Northwest Supervisory Union
Superintendent of Schools