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Closing & Delay Information

Information About Unscheduled Closings/Delays/Cancellations

Considerations
Naturally, the primary consideration in the decision to close or to delay the opening of school is the safety of the students.  And, as the students in the schools range from three to 19 years of age, the Superintendent must take into consideration the youngest child who may be waiting for a school bus as well as the most capable of our driving teenagers.

A second consideration is that several of our teachers and other staff members do not live in Stafford and must travel a distance to reach our schools.  Their safety while commuting and their ability to reach school in a timely manner is also a concern.

In addition, the ability of the Public Works Department to plow all of the streets traveled by buses and children as well as the ability of our maintenance staff to clear each school site has to be factored into any decision regarding closings or delays.  In some cases, public streets and/or school driveways are unable to be cleared until the day following a storm.  It is also important to remember that weather and street conditions can vary greatly within the boundaries of Stafford itself.

Closing School
The process of making the decision to close school or to delay its opening begins with the constant monitoring of weather reports, usually beginning the night before.  At approximately 3:30 a.m., the Superintendent receives a call from the Supervisor of Building Services, who has checked with the Police Department on current road conditions and the Stafford Department of Public Works on road clearing schedules.  In fact, at least one staff member is out on town roads reporting any problems he is encountering.  Next, neighboring Superintendents are called to ascertain road and weather conditions in his or her area.  The decision to close or delay school must be made before 5:00 a.m., if it is possible to do so.  Keep in mind that the decision is made on the best estimate of what will happen in the next four to 12 hours. 

If weather, road and parking conditions are such that safety is a problem, school will be cancelled and the radio and television stations listed below are called immediately to make that announcement public.  Please remember that while calls are made to television and radio stations immediately, we cannot control how long it takes a station to post the information.  The district also subscribes to the Stafford Citizens Alert Notification System, which at no cost to you, will deliver an automated message to your cell phone / home phone regarding an emergency closing.  You have to register to receive this service.  If you have not done so already, please visit our website to complete the registration process. 

Delayed Opening
School opening may be delayed by two hours if that extra time would seem to offer either better road and parking conditions or a substantial improvement in weather.  Different decisions for different schools are not possible because of the logistics of running the bus system over the contracted time.

Delayed Opening Times- 2-hour delay (Inclement Weather Only effective 2014 - 2015 School Year)
Stafford High School 9:35 a.m.- 2:05 p.m.
Stafford Middle School 9:20 a.m.- 1:50 p.m.
Stafford Elementary School,
10:15 a.m.- 2:45 p.m.
Elementary, Grade 1 & K 10:15 a.m.- 2:45 p.m.
Elementary, AM PreK 
Cancelled.
Head Start Cancelled.
Elementary, PM PreK 
12:00 p.m.- 2:45 p.m.


Closing Following a Delayed Opening
Sometimes a delay may be followed by an announcement to close if weather conditions deteriorate rapidly.  Families should continue to monitor weather reports after a delay is announced.


Early Dismissal
With so many single parents and two wage earner families, it is only with the greatest reluctance that children are sent home early because of weather conditions.  However, in the event that such an early release is absolutely necessary, each family should have an emergency plan that their children thoroughly understand.  Please review your family's plan with your children and designated caretakers.  Radio and TV stations 
are immediately notified of any change in status, so it is important to monitor one of the listed media stations or websites if weather conditions deteriorate.   We also subscribe to SCANS, which at no cost to you, will deliver an automated message to your cell phone / home phone regarding an emergency closing.  You have to register to receive this service.  If you have not done so already, please visit our website to complete the registration process.  Additionally, many TV stations (via their web sites) offer a service that is free-of-charge and will contact a cell phone, or send an e-mail in case of school closings or delays.   Please note that each web site offers different notification services.  Parents should visit each web site and sign up for the service(s) that best suit their needs. 

Early Dismissal Times - (Inclement Weather Only effective 2014 - 2015 School Year)
Stafford High School 10:45 a.m.
Stafford Middle School 10:30 a.m.
Stafford Elementary School 11:45 a.m.
Grade 1 & K 11:45 a.m.
PreK- AM 11:45 a.m.
PreK- PM None
Head Start 11:45 a.m.
Family Resource Center Closes at 1 p.m. 

 

How Parents Can Help
On mornings when the weather is bad, but school is still in session, please have your children ride the bus.  First of all, the heavy school buses are the safest vehicles in which your children can travel.  Secondly, if parents drive, the school driveways become clogged with cars, slowing the drop off process and creating hazards for children exiting buses.  For the same reasons, we urge parents not to pick up students at school when an emergency dismissal is called.  Please let your children ride the bus. 

Rather than telephoning the schools, the Superintendent's Office, the Town Hall, the Police Department or the media, please listen to the radio and/or TV, or check our district website under "School Closings & Delays".  Lines need to be kept clear for emergency calls and for parent notification when necessary. 

You are strongly encouraged to have an emergency plan in place that your children and your designated caretakers understand.

How to Learn the Status of School Closings, Delays or Early Dismissals
Tune in to the following radio or television stations:
Radio Stations:
Television Stations:
WWZY 92.5 FM
WFSB Channel 3
KISS 95.7 FM
WTNH Channel 8
WTIC 96.5 FM
WVIT Channel 30
WDRC 103 FM
WHCN 105.9 FM
WTIC 1080 AM
WDRC 1360 AM

 

Websites*:
Closing information can be viewed at the following web site addresses:

1.    www.wfsb.com
2.    www.nbcconnecticut.com
3.    www.wtnh.com
 
*Please note that each web site offers different notification services.  Parents should visit each web site and sign up for the service(s) that best suit their needs