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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514602805642097.

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.

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