• SAU #34

    School Cancellation Procedures

    Dear Hillcat Parents and Staff,

    We have enjoyed a very nice fall so far, but as winter approaches, I wanted to remind you about our procedures for school cancellation, delay and dismissal due to weather.

    These decisions are some of the more difficult ones I have to make and I want to assure you that safety is my highest priority. Weather prediction is not an exact science and small variations in temperature or elevation can lead to drastic changes in road conditions.  No matter what decision I make, if you believe that your child should stay home from school on a particular day due to severe weather, please keep him/her home and we will support that decision. 

    The three decisions that I as Superintendent can make relative to inclement weather conditions are 1) school cancellation, 2) a two hour delayed start and 3) an early dismissal. 

    If a weather event is anticipated, then a cancellation or delayed start will be communicated using TV (WMUR-TV 9 broadcast and website, WCVB-TV 5, WBZ-TV 4 ), radio (WZID 95.7FM, WMLL 96.5FM and WBZ 1030AM), and the school message alert numbers listed in the BlackboardConnect notification system. 

    In the event of an unanticipated delayed start, cancellation or early dismissal we will notify the community using all of the above methods and will use the emergency alert numbers (up to 6 contacts per student) of the BlackboardConnect notification system.

    Any decision for an early dismissal needs to be made no later than noon.  In a weather related early dismissal, the transportation plan does not change.  HDMS and HDHS students are dismissed first and taken home on the first bus run, and elementary school students are dismissed second, and taken home on the second run. Typically there is one hour difference between these dismissal times.

    A decision about a delayed start or school cancellation needs to be made by 5:30 a.m.  I use a number of weather services to get information, but conditions can change unpredictably between when I make the decision and when students are actually transported.  If a delay is called initially, and that turns into a cancellation, I will activate the phone part of BlackboardConnect system for the community using the emergency alert numbers as soon as possible.

    These are our planned procedures, but emergencies are unplanned.  In all cases, I will try to communicate with the community as early as possible.  I recognize that changes in the school calendar or schedule are very disruptive, and have an impact on student supervision and safety for families.  Please take some time to talk with your students about what your expectations or plans are for them if we have weather related school changes.

    Thank you,

    Superintendent of Schools