Snow Day, School Closing Procedures

Snow Day, School Closing Procedures

As we approach the winter season, we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of important information regarding school closings and delays due to inclement weather. While we prefer to keep our schools open and operating on their regular schedule every day, our first priority is student and staff safety. We have defined three possible options in the event that the school schedule must be altered or cancelled. Please read through the options carefully.

By 5:30 a.m. we will let residents (and staff) know if school is:

  1. Closed. If school is closed, all events for the entire school day are cancelled. This includes all evening events for that day. If for some reason we decide to open for specific evening events, we will publicize this exception through television, SNN, social media, and on our website. (Unless you hear otherwise, please assume that if school is closed, all offices as well as all athletic, extra-curricular, and community events for that day and evening are also cancelled.)
  2. 2- Hour Delay (final). If it appears that students cannot be transported safely to school at the usual time in the morning but that the weather will allow a safe transport later in the morning and a safe afternoon dismissal, the district may institute a 2-hour delay to the start of the school day. Parents should expect a schedule (including bus pick-up, parent drop off, and school start time) that is exactly 2 hours later than usual. If the word (final) appears in the announcement, the district has decided that there are no plans to change this decision.
  3. 2- Hour Delay (decision on closing by 7 a.m.). There are occasions when it is too unpredictable to make a full closing decision in the early morning hours. We have a 50-square-mile district with a wide variety of terrain. Our roads are plowed by seven different state, county, and town highway departments. We have acres of parking lots and school roadways to plow and 70 buses to clean off and plow out. By 4:30 a.m. on a snowy or icy morning we are out checking roads, talking with highway supervisors, gathering weather reports, and monitoring the district’s own snow removal efforts. There are times where we simply do not have enough information to make a decision to close by 5:30 a.m. It is very important that we do not call an unnecessary snow day because we did not have adequate information. In these situations, the district will elect to call a 2-hour delay with an option to close by 7 a.m. In these cases, at least a 2-hour delay will be in effect. We will be asking you to “stay tuned” for an updated decision. We commit to changing the announcement by 7 a.m. to either a 2-Hour Delay (final) or to Closed. We realize that this “delayed decision” could be slightly inconvenient for some, and we apologize in advance. However, experience tells us that this option is necessary in order to help us to be as accurate as possible with this decision.

Ways to stay informed

If there are any changes in school operation hours, the district uses several information sources to inform parents and community members:

  • School News Notifier (SNN) e-mail and text system.
  • BH-BL website,
  • Local television and radio stations, and newspaper websites.
  • BH-BL Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Please note: It is best to rely on more than one source of information when it comes to weather-related announcements. This is particularly true in situations that involve power outages, which can affect the district’s ability to send electronic notifications.