School cancellation protocol

Gloucester Superintendent of Schools Ben Lummis shared the protocol the district will follow in communicating winter weather-related school cancellations and delays to families:

Dear GPS Families,

I hope you and your family had a swell December break and that the new year is off to a great start.

While the winter has been pretty tame so far, every year we anticipate and prepare for weather cancellations. I am updating families and staff about how the Gloucester Public Schools will announce any weather cancellations.

When bad weather is forecast we work closely with Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW), public safety officials, and nearby school districts to determine whether or not a school cancellation or delay is warranted. Working together, we carefully monitor weather forecasts relying on information from the National Weather Service. The City may also declare a parking ban, which affects our decision of whether or not to close school.

If we decide on a delayed start, then it will be a two-hour delay. Each school will start two hours after its typically scheduled start time, and the school day would end at the regular time.

When We Will Communicate about a Weather Cancellation or Delay

The Morning of – Typically we wait and make a decision in the morning, to be sure a cancellation or delay is needed. When the nature of the storm dictates an early morning decision, we will communicate a cancellation or delay between 5:00 a.m and 5:30 a.m.

The Night Before – If the size and strength of a storm is predicted with a high degree of certainty, then we will make the decision to close school the evening before and let everyone know in the evening so families can plan ahead. If we need to cancel the night before, we will typically communicate no later than 9:30 p.m.

How We Will Communicate about a Weather Cancellation or Delay

Automated Phone Calls, Text, and Email – We will utilize our automated phone and email system to alert families and staff, and the call will be made to the number and email address you have provided the school.

Facebook and Website – We also update the district website and the district Facebook Group at:

Television – You can watch the major local TV News channels for information on cancellations, including CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX.

It is crucial that families maintain up-to-date contact information with their school’s main office for our communication to be effective. Please make sure your child’s school has the most current information for your family as we approach winter weather.

City Highlights From Mayor Verga

Mayor Verga writes:

I hope everyone had a nice holiday season and a great New Year!

Here are a few updates and highlights from the Mayor’s office and City Hall this week:

  • The Private Road Working Group will give a formal presentation of their final recommendations and findings at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 10th. The group will present their recommendations to the full council and explain their process. Also included in the meeting are several recommended ordinance changes that were a direct result of the group’s work. Learn more about the presentation and proposed ordinance changes here:
  • The Department of Revenue approved the City’s “Free Cash” General Fund as of July 1, 2022, in the amount of $4,304,608. My office has recommended a new annual allocation of 10% from “Free Cash” for paving and sidewalk work in an effort to close the funding gap. This new allocation is another result of the final recommendations from the Private Roads Working Group to help address the conditions of our City’s municipal streets and work towards improving our private roads. Learn more about the approved “Free Cash” and new allocation in the upcoming City Council Meeting Packet:
  • Season 2 of Project: Pop-Up Gloucester has been extended into 2023, and Detali will be expanding into the entire space. Project: Pop-Up is an innovative program to help remove many of the barriers for small businesses to expand into brick-and-mortar spaces and is a recommendation out of the Local Rapid Recovery Plan. The program highlights the incredible partnerships with several community organizations, and the extension is due to collaboration with Action Inc. Learn more about the program here:

I welcome any questions or feedback, so don’t hesitate to contact my office by email ( or phone (978-281-9700). A reminder that comments are not monitored 24/7 – phone or email is the best way to contact my office.

GloucesterCast 619 Live From Capital One Cafe Delray Beach 1/9/23 Link to Join


GloucesterCast 619 Live From Capital One Cafe Delray Beach 1/9/23 MA 1/5/23

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Pavilion Beach Rocks

I saw a Facebook post questioning the presence of a bunch of large rocks on Pavilion Beach so I went down to take a look. To be clear, I do not know why there are apparently several new rocks down there but I can say that there appears to be no evidence of construction machinery recently on the beach, though they could have been deposited from above…..but not all of them. So, here it is for you to see for yourself.