Our priority is safety. When weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances make it difficult to get to or from school safely, the Superintendent follows a process to determine whether one of the following options should occur:
Limited or alternate bus routes: bus routes are altered to accommodate weather conditions.
Two-hour late opening: Schools begin — and buses pick up students — two hours later than usual.
Early dismissal (two types):
Planned early dismissal is denoted on the school calendar. Students will be fed lunch prior to dismissal.
Unexpected events, such as weather conditions, loss of water, and heat. In these situations, notification to parents will occur prior to dismissal.
Schools and offices closed: School is cancelled for the day. When school is cancelled for the day, all activities and games are also cancelled for that day.
What Families Can Do
There are a few things that you can do to make sure you are notified of important news:
Keep your contact information up to date: make sure the school has the most current contact information on file, including primary contacts, emergency contacts, automatic notification system contacts, and transportation preferences.
If you use social media, follow OSSU on facebook and share posts related to weather closures so the word can spread quickly.
Were you called in Error?
If you have been included in an automated call and wish to be removed from future calls, please contact us.
Questions or Comments?
If you have additional questions or comments related to weather closures or delays, please contact us.
The decision will be broadcast through OSSU’s automatic notification system and then shared with the television channel listed below. Announcements are also posted on OSSU’s website and Facebook page.
In the event that the Superintendent is not accessible by telephone, OSSU’s Chief Financial Officer serves as the Superintendent’s backup.
Making the Call
How the Superintendent Decides
During a winter weather event, the decisions we make to delay or close schools are based on how safe it is to ride a bus, drive, bike or walk to or from school.
The Superintendent relies on local and national weather services to learn of an incoming storm and evaluates conditions in consultation with the transportation contractor, town officials, and superintendents in neighboring supervisory unions. When news of an approaching storm hits, transportation staff are often out evaluating road conditions as early as 4 a.m.
The Superintendent works to make decisions that reflect the varying landscape and weather conditions across all six communities. But you know the condition in your local neighborhood/community better than anyone else. If you feel it’s unsafe to drive, walk or bike to school, please keep your student home.
The Superintendent also takes into account that weather conditions can change – sometimes getting better. He works to balance a conservative, safety-first approach with the responsibility for having students in school learning.
Notice about weather-related closures is broadcast as far in advance as possible – the day before, if possible - or else early in the morning between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m.
Each year in March, we evaluate how many instructional days were lost due to weather/other events and determine if makeup days in June will be added to the school calendar.
We recognize that weather-related school decisions can cause anxiety and inconvenience. We appreciate your patience and flexibility and want you to know that our first goal, as always, is to keep children safe.
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