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Cancellations & Delays

CANCELING SCHOOL

WHO MAKES THE DECISION?

The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the final decision, based on various weather-related factors and recommendations from the Department of Public Works and the Director of Facilities.

WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?

Our goal is to make the decision by 5:30 am or earlier so that the radio and TV stations can be notified. We realize that if we wait longer to announce a closing, some parents will have already left for work, leaving their children unsupervised.

HOW IS THE DECISION MADE TO CANCEL SCHOOL?
  1. Road conditions
    The Natick Department of Public Works is contacted for information on road conditions. Careful consideration is given to roads in the district with the most hazardous conditions. Even if your street looks clear, travel elsewhere in town may be dangerous. Also, we must consider that some high school students drive to school.
  2. The existing accumulation of snow and/or ice.
  3. The rate and expected duration of this precipitation.
  4. School building conditions (such as electricity and heat).
  5. School parking lot conditions
    The Director of Facilities contacts the maintenance and custodial staff who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks. 
  6. Temperature and wind-chill factors
    Please keep in mind that a number of students either walk to school or wait on the sidewalks for the school bus. 
  7. Weather Predictions
    We prefer not to make my decision based on weather predictions since they are not always accurate.
    However, at times, this may be unavoidable. Please understand when weather warnings are given, we are up at 4:00 am to begin the process, as listed above, to gather all the relevant information in order to make a careful and well-informed decision. Students safety is our number one priority and the decision to close or delay school depends upon it. 
  8. We also consult other districts and share information with local superintendents and take their recommendations into consideration when making my decision.


DELAYING SCHOOL

 

If conditions are such that the DPW tells us that it needs extra time to plow the roads or sand the streets, we will shorten the school day. Under this alternative plan, the opening of school and all bus pickups will be delayed two hours, respective to the start time at your child's school(s). There will be no morning pre-school on days with a delayed opening.

On a two hour delay day, schools will dismiss at their regular times. The noon meal will be served at regular times in the cafeterias of each building.

We remind parents not to attempt to send their children to school early on "Two-Hour Delay" days since the schoolyards may not be plowed nor will staff be available to supervise early arrivals.


HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?

 

A recorded phone message will be sent to each family's primary phone contact. In addition, announcements will be carried starting at 6:00 a.m. by radio stations WBUR (FM 90.9), WBZ (AM 103.0), WRKO (AM 68.0), by television stations Channel 4, 5, 7, Fox 25, CW56. A message will be posted on the Natick Public Schools Website. The following websites may also list school closings:

There are a number of items that factor into the superintendent's final decision, none more than the safety of our students. The verdict to close or not to close is more of an art than a science and we know we are only as good as our last decision. However, the decision is made based upon information that is available to at the time that this decision must be made.


EARLY DISMISSAL OF SCHOOL

Under rare circumstances, the Superintendent of Schools may determine that inclement weather that threatens to make the afternoon commute unsafe requires an early dismissal from school. If such a decision is made, we will notify families using the emergency function of our automated phone and email system so that all phone numbers on record for both parents will be called (home, mobile, and work) in addition to both parents emails. Families are asked to plan ahead regarding childcare for such a situation.


EARLY RISER AND AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITY PROGRAM (ASAP) - CANCELLATION AND DELAY POLICY

  • When school is canceled, Early Risers and the After School Activity Program (ASAP) will also be canceled.
  • If there is a delay for the start of school, there will be no Early Risers Program.
  • If the school closes early due to inclement weather, ASAP is closed.
  • If the School Superintendent cancels after-school programs and school is released at regular dismissal times, ASAP is closed.

* If the school is open and the School Superintendent cancels ASAP or closes ASAP early, parents will be notified via email (and any other appropriate means of communication) and the voice greeting message will be changed on site phones and main office voicemail message. When bad weather is forecasted, please check email regularly and plan carefully for pick-up knowing that weather may extend your commute.

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