School Closings, Delays and Early Dismissals
the decision is made to close, delay an opening, or early dismiss the
schools in bad weather or emergencies and the process for communicating these decisions to the public.
the primary consideration in the decision to close or to delay the
opening of school is the safety of the students. And, as the students in
the schools range from 5 to 18 years of age, one must take into
consideration the youngest pupil who may walk to school as well as the
most capable of our driving teenagers.
second consideration is that many of our teachers and other staff
members do not live in New Canaan and must travel substantial distances
to reach our schools. Their safety while commuting is of real concern to
us as well.
addition, the ability of the Public Works Department to plow all of the
streets traveled by buses and children as well as the ability of our
maintenance staff to clear each school site has to be factored into any
decision regarding closings or delays. In some cases, public streets
and/or school driveways are unable to be cleared until the following
day. It is also important to remember that weather and street conditions
can vary greatly within the boundaries of New Canaan.
actual process of making the decision to close school or to delay its
opening begins with the constant monitoring of weather reports, usually
beginning the night before. At 4:30 AM, the Police Department calls the
superintendent to report on road conditions throughout town. The
superintendent then checks with the Department of Public Works to
determine its schedule for clearing the roads. Next, neighboring
superintendents are called to ascertain road and weather conditions in
his or her area. The decision to close or delay generally needs to be
made by 6:00 AM.
If schools are closed, the Superintendent notifies all families in the district by email and/or text, depending on the preferred method of delivery they chose during registration at the beginning of the school year. All district employees are also notified. A cancellation notice is simultaneously posted on the district website's homepage.
weather, road and parking lot conditions are such that safety is a
problem, school will be cancelled and the radio and television stations
listed in the right hand column are notified immediately to make that announcement public.
opening may be delayed if that extra time
would seem to offer either better road and parking conditions or a
substantial improvement in weather. Different decisions for different
schools are not possible because of the logistics of running the bus
system over the contracted time.
If there is a delayed opening, the Superintendent notifies all families in the district by email and/or text, depending on the preferred method of delivery they chose during registration at the beginning of the school year. All district employees are also notified. A delayed opening notice is simultaneously posted on the district website's homepage. Families should continue to monitor weather reports after a delay is announced.
Closing, Following a Delayed Opening
In a very rare event, when weather conditions change unexpectedly, what was originally intended to be a delay may need to be changed to a cancellation. In that circumstance, the Superintendent will notify all families in the district by phone, in addition to email and/or text. All district employees will be notified, and a cancellation notice will be simulaneously posted on the district website's homepage. Keep in mind that the decision is made on the best estimate of what will happen in the next four to twelve hours.
so many single parents and two wage earner families, it is only with
the greatest reluctance that children are sent home early because of
weather conditions. However, in the event that such an early release is
absolutely necessary, each family should have an emergency plan that
their children thoroughly understand. Please review your family’s plan
with your children and designated caretakers. Radio and TV stations, our
website, the town website and www.ctweather.com are immediately
notified of any change in status, so it is important to monitor one of
the listed media stations if weather conditions deteriorate. Although
the early dismissal times listed in the sidebar are generally the early dismissal times we use, there will be
conditions under which it is best to dismiss earlier to allow
transportation to be completed under better conditions. In that event
times will be noted on the website and sent via BlackBoard Connect.
Notes on Schedules
scheduling options allow us to make better decisions in regard to
student and staff safety. Our goal is to create as little disruption as
possible to our established school calendar. We understand that a
schedule change for a school day affects family schedules and may
necessitate adjustments to childcare arrangements. When schedule changes
are necessary, we try to provide parents and staff with as much advance
notice as possible. When
storms are predicted to begin mid-day, early dismissal is
the preferred alternative to closing school for an entire day. The early dismissal schedule allows students and staff to be out of school and on their way home by 1:05.There
may be times when a delayed opening is called, but due to unanticipated
changes in weather and travel conditions the delay is changed to a
closure. We encourage staff and families to continue to monitor local
media and their communication devices so they will receive notification
and be aware if the decision has changed. A second robo call will be
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mornings when the weather is bad, but school is still held, please let
your children ride the bus. First of all, the heavy school buses are the
safest vehicles your children could be in. Secondly, if parents drive,
the school driveways become clogged with cars, slowing the drop off
process and creating hazards for children exiting buses. For the same
reasons, we urge parents not to pick up students at school when an
emergency dismissal is called. Please let your children ride the bus.Please
listen to the radio and/or TV or check our status online, but do not
call the schools, the Central Office, the Town Hall, the Police
Department or the media. Lines need to be kept clear for emergency calls
and for parent notification when necessary.Lastly, make sure your children understand what to do in the case of an early dismissal, when you might not be home.