As we prepare for the coming of winter, I would like to inform you of policies and procedures that will be used by the Longmeadow Public Schools to govern the closing or delay of school on days when the weather makes traveling for students dangerous. By law, the school system is required to open a minimum of 180 days per school year, which, under the Education Reform Law, must include 900 hours for elementary school students and 990 hours for middle and high school students. Because the School Committee recognizes that school may need to be closed occasionally because of severe weather, the school calendar contains 185 days. Five days of school may, therefore, be cancelled without having to extend the established school year. If the five inclement weather days are not used, then the date of the school closing in June is adjusted to meet state requirements.
It is the practice in the Longmeadow Public Schools to take the least drastic action necessary to adjust to weather conditions. The following situations may occur:
1) A one-hour delayed opening to allow for snow removal during relatively light storms.
2) A two-hour delayed opening to allow for snow removal and traffic clearance during more severe storms.
3) School closing due to storms severe enough that safe paths to school cannot generally be maintained.
4) Early Dismissal is done only in cases of real emergency. If a storm begins unexpectedly while school is in session, we ordinarily continue school and dismiss the students at the regularly scheduled time. This decision is based on the fact that most parents would prefer to have their children remain in school rather than have them walking home in the midst of a storm.
In case of a real emergency, early dismissal will be announced on the usual radio and television stations, and an announcement will go out using the new ALERT NOW® telephone messaging service.
PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOUR CHILD KNOWS WHERE TO GO IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING. In case of an emergency school closing, school staff members will stay at school until safe travel is provided for all students.
During each storm that arises, the superintendent begins checking road conditions by 4:30 am in order to determine the town's readiness to hold school. Check-ins are also made with the Police, Department of Public Works, transportation companies, and area towns to determine our readiness to hold school. If the schedule is to be altered, we will attempt to make announcements on the radio, television, on our website (sites.longmeadow.k12.ma.us/www. ), and over the ALERT NOW® telephone messaging service as early as possible between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m., on days of questionable weather. Our judgment in those circumstances will be based on the best information available at that time about road conditions throughout the area. Should you believe that conditions in your neighborhood require that your child remain out of school for a later period of time, please feel free to make that decision for your own family. There will be no penalty if you keep your child out of school for reasonable reasons of safety.
All the necessary emergency closing information is provided in an attachment to this letter. Please post it for your easy reference in times of inclement weather. Note that announcements regarding school conditions will be made on a number of radio and television stations beginning at 6:00 a.m., on our website and over the ALERT NOW® telephone messaging system. Please listen for these announcements. Please DO NOT telephone broadcasters, schools, police, or fire departments as this ties up the 911 lines. We have been informed that anyone using Emergency 911 for this purpose will automatically be disconnected. Stay tuned to the radio even after a delayed opening is announced in case worsening conditions require school closing.
Marie H. Doyle
Superintendent of Schools
INCLEMENT WEATHER INFORMATION
OPTIONS FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER:
Schools open one (1) hour late
Schools open two (2) hours late; no a.m. kindergarten/preschool
Schools close for the day
Schools close early
TIME OF ANNOUNCEMENT: Between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
STATIONS FOR ANNOUNCEMENT (you may also check station websites):
Radio - A.M. Radio - F.M. Television
560 - WHYN 93.1 - MIX 12 - Longmeadow Cable
97.9 - KIX 22 - WWLP
94.7 - WMAS 40 - WGGB
100.9 - WRNX 3 - WSHM
PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOUR CHILD KNOWS WHERE HE OR SHE SHOULD GO IN CASE OF EARLY DISMISSAL! THANK YOU!