The Superintendent and administrative staff carefully monitor the southcoast's weather conditions during the winter season. Our school district staff listens to the various weather forecasts. The Director of Transportation tests the road conditions on our bus routes beginning at 3:30 am. We also contact the local law enforcement and the Department of Public Works (DPW) about road conditions. We give careful consideration to all of the bus routes in the district.
What factors are considered when making the decision to delay opening or closing the school?
The safety of all Dartmouth children is our primary concern in making our decision. In deciding whether children will be safe, we look at the following factors:
- Information on both present and predicted road conditions, from the Director of Transportation, DPW, and from law enforcement. This includes whether roads are icy;
- Time(s) snow or ice starts and the amounts anticipated;
- Weather predictions;
- Building conditions (e.g., whether schools have power and heat);
- Parking lot conditions;
- Temperature and wind-chill;
- Any other special circumstances that may not have been expected.
Who makes the decision?
The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the final decision based on the above factors and recommendations from the people that he/she has spoken with. In all cases, the final decision rests with parents as to whether you wish to keep your child/children home or pick them up during inclement weather. (Absences will be excused).
The decision is made by 5:30 am, except in the situations when inclement weather may force school closings or the cancellations of after-school activities during the school day. In those cases, radio and TV stations will be notified.
How is the public notified?
Below are the media sites that will be notified of Dartmouth School District closings:
Television Stations Radio Stations Channels 5,6,7,10 & 12, FOX25, DCTV & Cable 18 WBSM 1420 AM, WCTK 98.1 FM, WPRO 92.3 FM, WFHN 107.1 RM, WSNE 93.3 FM, WSAR 1480 AM
What time does school open if there is a delayed opening?
A standard two-hour delay will be used:
Regular Time Delayed Opening Elementary 9:05 AM 11:05 AM Middle 7:45 AM 9:45 AM High 7:30 AM 9:30 AM
On delayed openings, morning kindergarten classes will be cancelled. Unfortunately, no sooner would our kindergarten students arrive than they would have to return home because their ending time remains the same.
What if school closes during the day?
Local media outlets will be notified and regular public announcements made. Parents should make sure that their child's teacher has on file a written explanation of what the student should do in the event that school closes during the day. If school closes during the day, all students will be sent home on their regular bus or daycare van unless other directions are on file. It is impossible for the school staff to accept phoned-in directions under such circumstances.
Parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with your child's school procedures. Everyone's help will ensure safe winter travel.