School Cancellations & Delays

How is the decision made to cancel school due to inclement weather?
The safety of our students is the primary factor in determining whether or not to close/delay school and many considerations are made before rendering a decision. The School Department consults with the Department of Public Works, Police Department, the School Bus Company and weather bureaus. Authorities drive throughout the district to test the roads and sidewalks. Even if the roads are initially satisfactory, the drivers may make several trips if snow continues to fall, or if the weather continues to deteriorate.

Where can parents find information about school closings?
Once the decision for a weather-related cancellation/delay is made, Springfield Public Schools (SPS) works to make parents and students aware as quickly as possible. Accurate information will be broadcast on all local television stations, including: WWLP-TV22, abc40 and FOX 6, CBS 3 Springfield; radio station: WHYN 560AM and online on the SPS website at www.sps.springfield.ma.us and on our Facebook page.

You will also receive a recorded telephone message from SPS advising you of the change in the school schedule. The call will be made to the telephone number you have provided to your child’s school as your primary contact number/s. Please be sure to keep your contact numbers updated.

What if bad weather arrives when children are in school?
In those cases when students are already at school when snow/ice becomes a safety risk, early dismissal may be imposed. Such dismissals will be immediately broadcast on the media outlets listed above. All families, especially those with students in elementary grades, are urged to have an “Early Dismissal Plan” in place so that students can get into your home or go to a neighbor or nearby caregiver’s home.

A designated caregiver must meet preschool, kindergarten and first grade students and special needs students at the bus stop. If no one is available to pick up these students, they will be taken to the SPS Drop-Off Center at Rebecca Johnson School, 55 Catharine St., phone: 787-6859. Students will be released only to designated caregivers. Identification is required.

Do pre-school students need to report to school on cancellation or delay days?
Parents of pre-school aged children should consult with their child’s school to determine its pre-school policy for those days when school is cancelled or delayed.

Will all after-school activities for students be canceled if school is closed?
Typically, activities will be canceled when school has been closed all day or closed early.

What can parents do to help their students and schools prepare?
1. Make sure that the instructions on your inclement weather dismissal form are current.
2. Contact your childcare facility, if necessary, to find out what their procedures are for inclement weather.
3. Review the information you have listed as emergency contacts and make sure that the numbers are updated at the Student Assignment Services (SAS).
4. Make plans ahead of time and communicate them with your children so they understand what to expect during an early school dismissal due to inclement weather.
5. Understand that school closings are for the safety of children throughout the district. While the condition of your neighborhood streets may be fine, other areas of the district may be experiencing harsher weather.


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