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Preparing for Winter Weather: PSB Snow Day Procedures 2021-22

The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline. Translated versions are available at the following links:

 

Dear Families and Staff,

With the first snowflakes of the season already on the ground, I want to take a moment to share with you the steps that the school district will take to inform you of any weather-related school cancellations or delayed openings. I also want to provide you with some context as to how the decision is made, if conditions warrant a school closure.

When a winter storm is forecast, we work closely with Brookline’s public works and public safety officials to determine whether to declare a school cancellation or delay.  If the size and strength of the storm are predicted with a high degree of certainty, then we will make the decision to close school by 8:00pm on the evening before a school day. If the weather forecast is less certain, then we wait and make a decision (if there is one) the next morning, no later than 5:30am.

Following the end of a winter storm, the Brookline Department of Public Works (DPW) starts to work immediately to make roads safe and accessible across town.  In addition to plowing roads, we rely on the DPW to clear snow from school parking lots and sidewalks around our schools so that teachers can park and students can safely get to school.  Depending on when the storm ends, sometimes this storm clean-up can continue into a second day; this might cause school to be closed for an additional day as the DPW crews continue to work safely and unimpeded.  The Town might also declare a parking ban, which also affects our decision of whether or not to close school.

Like many municipalities, this year the Brookline DPW is facing pandemic-related staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions that impact the maintenance of snow removal equipment, and reduced availability of private contractors for snow removal services. These factors, detailed in a message from DPW Commissioner Gallentine, may also affect school closing decisions.

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Education has advised school districts that, at this time, remote instruction may not be scheduled on snow days this year. Any instructional days cancelled for bad weather must be made up in June. Make-up days are noted on our annual calendar, available here.

Once the decision to close or delay school is made, we notify our media partners, post the information on our website, post a message on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and send the notification directly to our families and staff via automated phone calls and emails.  Below please find links to these sources:

We will also utilize local media outlets for these announcements, including:

Delayed Opening

Information about a 2-hour delayed opening will be shared in the same manner as a cancellation.  Should the opening of school be delayed, K-8 and BEEP students will be expected to arrive at school, or at their bus stop, two hours later than normal.  Our bus company and crossing guards will know of the delay and will rearrange their schedules accordingly. Brookline High School students should refer to this special schedule for a 2-hour delayed school opening.

Town Emergencies

You might also consider signing up for CodeRed to receive important notifications from the Town of Brookline regarding emergency situations that could impact Brookline residents. Information and a sign-up link are available here: www.brooklinema.gov/alerts

Please know that a snow day or delayed opening decision is always made in accordance with our top priority: the safety of our students and staff. Further, we will always work to share this information with you in a timely fashion to enable you and your family to best prepare.

Sincerely,

Linus J. Guillory Jr., PhD
Superintendent