2020-2021 - Weather-related School Closings

School Closing Procedures

2020-2021 - Hybrid and Remote Learning Caveats:

  • During hybrid learning, school closures will serve as a "distance/remote learning" day for students and teachers. Each school will craft appropriate schedules and expectations for students, teachers, and parents. Assuming power outages are not widespread or imminent, all schools will engage in distance/remote learning if travel to schools is deemed as unsafe. Students and teachers will participate in various synchronous and supported asynchronous learning activities per the school's schedule. If power within any of our communities is an issue, school will be completely "called off" and a makeup day will be added to the calendar in June.

  • Delays - due to the slightly shortened day for students during established hybrid learning schedules, to preserve instructional time, the SAU will avoid delayed openings. Instead, if safe travel is questionable, the districts will host a distance/remote learning day (instead of a delayed opening). Schools will begin at the typical time for students and teachers.

Closing school is among the hardest (and most public) decisions a superintendent has to make. Student safety is always our primary concern. We also consider that students and families rely not only the opportunities and enrichment of education, but on the stability it provides. Additionally, we are fully cognizant that delays and closings impact adult schedules.

When we suspect weather might be an issue, an intricate process begins "behind the scenes." The previous evening, everyone is put on alert and asked to have their phones with them and to prepare for early communications. At around 4am, SAU and District personnel begin texting and chatting about the road conditions and what will be best for students. We also reach out to road agents and colleagues (other local school decision makers). We closely monitor WMUR, AccuWeather, and other radars; the forecast heavily influences the ultimate decision. In the our districts, the first buses are typically on the road by about 6am and employees are pre-tripping buses up to an hour before that (depending on the weather). With information and forecasts in hand, the goal is to come to a conclusion about school cancellation by approximately 5:30am. It is a very collaborative and communicative process, but in the end it is the superintendent's decision.

Sometimes forecasts are not correct (a benefit of living in New England) and we have to deal with wintry road conditions. Our bus drivers are all very well trained and take every precaution in ensuring student safety. We will continue to strive to make the best decisions we can. Thank you for your understanding and support of our schools.

School Closing Options

The following options may be used for emergency conditions.

SAU #46 Schools Are Closed:

  • All schools will be closed for the day. All meetings, field trips, after-school activities will be canceled for the day.

SAU #46 Schools Are Delayed - 2 Hour Delay:

  • All schools will open two hours later than typical start time.

  • During hybrid learning, due to slightly abbreviated daily student schedules, the District will not have delayed openings.

School Closing Announcements

  • WMUR News9 Weather

  • Rapid / Mass Alert Notification - through the District's Student Information System (SIS)

  • District and school-based Tweets

• Merrimack Valley School District •

• 105 Community Drive • Penacook, NH 03303 • 603.753.6561 (phone) • 603.753.6023 (fax)

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