Winter Weather – Delays - Cancelations
January 17, 2023
As Superintendent, I am often asked about how I decide to cancel or delay school due to inclement weather. As we are now in the heart of winter, I will dedicate this edition of the Superintendent’s Corner to answering that question.
For most students, there is nothing more exciting than a pending winter storm and the possibility of a “snow day.” When I was in school, I remember how excited I was to get up in the morning to see if it was snowing, or if a storm had left a thick blanket of snow on the ground. In those days, there was no internet, no cell phones, no Facebook, and no “robocalls” to give us the news. We had to wait until morning to see if the storm had come, and then listen to the radio for the no-school announcements. If you missed the information or your school wasn’t called, you had to wait until the next break for the list to be read again. It was an agonizing process, but one that seemed to heighten the excitement of the day. Now, advances in technology have made communication almost immediate across multiple connected platforms, and we can predict inclement weather several days in advance. A delay or no-school announcement today can be sent simultaneously to staff, students, and families in a matter of seconds, and television announcements can be posted immediately with just one click of a button.
As Superintendent, I understand how disruptive delays and cancelations can be, and I take these decisions very seriously. Despite our technological advances, nothing is perfect. Storms can be challenging to predict, and sudden changes that move a storm inland or offshore by just a few miles can be the difference between rain, a few inches of snow, or a blizzard that dumps snow measured by the foot. Because of this, the district monitors each weather event very closely and plans accordingly. On occasion, decisions to close or delay school might be made the night before, but most situations call for an early morning decision.
Starting very early on a storm day, I get an updated weather forecast, I consult with regional Superintendents, I get an update on current road conditions, and I receive a report of progress on storm clean-up. I review all this information and then decide to delay or cancel school. These decisions are generally made by 5 AM on the day of school. Announcements for delay or cancelation will be posted as soon as possible on WABI-TV and WLBZ-TV, on the RSU 67 Website, and on our Facebook page. An “All-Call” will be generally made to staff and families between 5:00 and 5:15 AM via text message, email, and phone call. If school is canceled, all school activities are also canceled that day and evening. If you are not getting that call or message, please contact your school office so that we can add your contact information.
Winter is a long season filled with wonderful opportunities to enjoy our special region of the state. I hope that you can get out there and enjoy it.
Until next time…………….