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What is Needham Public School’s Cancellation Procedure?

With winter approaching, it’s time for a reminder on how Needham Public Schools handle cancellations and delays due to inclement weather.

“I am hoping the snow won't be flying anytime soon, but if it does I want you to know that I will do my level best to make decisions about delays or school closings by approximately 5:30 in the morning,” said Needham superintendent of schools Daniel E. Gutekanst in an email to parents.

If the conditions are severe, school will be canceled. The Needham Public Schools will utilize an emergency notification system that will contact your home phone, cell phones and send an email using the information in the PowerSchool program. The "No School" announcement will also be carried by Needham Patch, television channels 4, 5, 7 and FOX25 and the local cable channel. Information regarding schools during inclement weather is also prominently displayed on the Needham Public Schools’ website www.needham.k12.ma.us. The school will also embrace social media to notify residents of cancellations via Twitter. Follow the handle @NPS_Supt for news from the superintendent.

“I have been asked in the past by parents and students how much snow does it take for me to cancel school,” Gutekanst said. “Here is the clearest answer I can give: It all depends! While student safety is always my first consideration, the forecast, road conditions, ice, and snow depth are all factors in my decision making. I believe it is important for students to be in school whenever it is possible. If it is projected to snow about three or four inches, I am inclined to hold school, even if it is a delay. Whatever the forecast, I will continue to do my best to make weather-related calls as safely and as soon as I practically can.”

If school is cancelled, all school activities will be canceled as well, including scheduled adult evening classes and before and after school programs. Transportation of students to out-of-district schools will also be canceled.

If the Department of Public Works needs extra time to plow the roads or sand the streets to assure safety, the school day will be shortened. Under this alternative plan, the opening of school and all bus pickups will be delayed two hours. This includes special education transportation pick-ups for students in out-of-district schools. The "Two-Hour Delayed Opening" announcement will be the same as for school closure. Parents are reminded not to send their children to school early on delayed days since the school yards may not be plowed nor will staff be available to supervise early arrivals.

On delay days, dismissal and lunch times will go on as regularly scheduled. Kindergarten a.m. session and preschool a.m. sessions will be cancelled. KASE a.m. sessions at Mitchell, Hillside and Broadmeadow will be canceled. They will be delayed two hours at Eliot and Newman. All KASE p.m. sessions will be held at their regularly scheduled times. The before-school Needham Extended Day Program will be cancelled. All after-school programs will go on as scheduled.

In the event of a severe weather emergency or some other dangerous situation that develops during the school day, Needham Public Schools may release students early. The schools will use the emergency notification system to alert parents and guardians. As appropriate, the Needham Public Schools will work with public safety officials to shelter students we are unable to send home.

For more information call the superintendent at 781-455-0400, extension 203.

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