Snow Day Calls

December 2017

Weather Related School Cancellations

With the meteorologists forecasting snow, it may be helpful to share the process I use to determine whether to cancel school due to inclement weather.

The decision to release, cancel or delay school is never an easy one and often creates armchair quarterbacks. Including me! Please know that considerable thought is put into every decision.

First and foremost, the safety of everyone driving to and from school is paramount, this includes students, parents and staff members.  On any school day, hundreds of parents, staff, and students are driving on our roads. Many commute considerable distances on back roads, leaving early in the morning and returning late in the evening.  Given this, decisions are made with everyone’s safety in mind.

Before 5 am, the Director of Operations has already driven and accessed the local road conditions. Once updated on the local road conditions, the Director of Operations and I discuss the current and predicted forecast.  Local road commissioners, meteorologists at the Gray National Weather Service, and area school superintendents are all consulted. Like most, we scour weather reports to anticipate weather conditions when busses, students, parents, and staff will be traveling to and from school, generally between 6:00 to 8:45 am and 2:00 to 4:30 pm. It is necessary a final decision be made an hour in advance of these times to provide adequate notification. These time constraints, along with an ever changing forecast, can sometimes make the decision-making process difficult.

As we enter another winter season, I cannot guarantee that all of my decisions will be obvious and understandable to every parent, student, or staff member. However, I can assure you that all of my decisions will be made with safety in mind and after all available information has been thoughtfully assessed.

I hope you enjoy this holiday season.  Enjoy the snow and drive safely.


Patricia Hopkins

Superintendent of Schools