Even though we still have beautiful foliage outside, we all know that winter weather is approaching us rapidly. It is time again to prepare for school cancellation and delay decisions. The information below provides an outline of the process we follow for making school cancellation/delay decisions for weather events.
1. Prior to a “weather event” and early in the morning of an event, we gather information from a variety of sources:
- We look at forecasts from a variety of sources well in advance.
- We receive consultation and advice from NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), including several briefs and even conference calls prior to any major storms. We also contract with Roger Hill to provide regular updates and consultation, both prior to and on the morning of events.
- We communicate, as appropriate, with the road crews and/or police departments for both Barre Town and Barre City, as well as our contracted transportation company and our own staff who are on the roads early.
- We communicate with other school superintendents in the region to coordinate closing/delay decisions when it makes sense, realizing localized conditions and other factors may necessitate different decisions for different supervisory unions and districts.
2. Our goal is to have a decision made by 5:30am.
- This is not always possible, as there are many things happening quickly.
- Most often, NOAA and/or Roger Hill make a recommendation and we follow it, as they get automatic input from many sources and have expertise that we do not. They consider what has happened, what is happening currently and what is most likely to happen as the day goes on. It is rare that our own information does not align with their recommendation.
- If the recommendations have not come out by 5:30am, we might wait a little longer.
- If we feel like we have information and circumstances that requires a different decision than the experts’ recommendations, we review everything again carefully before making that decision.
3. Once a decision is made to delay or close, we communicate in the following ways:
- We initiate a “Call Em All” through the phone system
- We contact the media
- We send out an email to all staff
- We post on Facebook, Twitter, web pages, and phone greetings
- We contact the police and road crews
- We contact our transportation and food contractors
The decision to delay or cancel is extremely important for everyone’s safety. We take it very seriously. There is no guarantee that we can make the correct decision every time, but we do our absolute best. Please help us by being patient and understanding, and providing appropriate and constructive feedback.