School Cancellation Procedure

Sources for School Closing and Delayed Opening

The following media sources are available for information on school closing and delayed opening:

Automated Phone Call System

The School Messenger system is the automated phone calling system used by SAU 24 and schools for contacting parents/guardians of students with school closings or delayed opening notifications due to inclement weather or other emergencies.

Television stations:

  • WMUR
  • WBZ
  • NECN

SAU 24 Website

What is defined as inclement weather?

Inclement weather can include any kind of extreme weather, usually snow or ice, which might create hazardous driving conditions or significantly impair normal operations at the school. Inclement weather also may include severe thunderstorm activity, tornadoes, flooding or other natural perils.

How does the school respond to inclement weather?

Generally, there are three possible responses to incidents of inclement weather:

  • Closure of school. In the event of a closure, school is not in session for the day and students should not report to school.
  • Delayed opening. During a delayed opening, school officials publicly announce the specific time at which the school will open and students should report.
  • Early Dismissal. In the event of an early dismissal, the school closes at a publicly announced time.

When will parents receive notification that school has been closed or delayed opening?

Announcements will be made through School Messenger, local television stations, and the SAU 24 website prior to 6:00 a.m. when possible.

Determination Procedure

We often receive questions regarding the process used when contemplating school closings. This is always a difficult decision and we understand that a decision to open or close in bad weather has a major impact on our families. While we recognize that students are best served academically by being in school, the safety of our students is always our top priority.

With that in mind, there are many factors that are taken into consideration when making a decision. The following information is considered in all decisions relative to the closing, delay opening or early dismissal of school:

  • The SAU administrators assess the conditions of the roads and parking lots, taking into account snow, ice, and other hazards such as downed trees or power lines.
  • The Superintendent of Schools consults with the road agents in the towns that are included within our SAU to evaluate the conditions and safety of the roads.
  • Short and long-term weather forecasts from multiple sources are reviewed.
  • The Superintendent of Schools consults with other schools and the local bus contractor to gather information about road conditions in surrounding areas.

The preliminary assessment of the weather situation starts at 4:30 a.m. After considering this assessment, the Superintendent of Schools will decide whether to open schools on schedule, delay opening or cancel school for the day. This decision will be announced prior to 6:00 a.m. whenever possible. The announcement is communicated to the public via local television stations, local radio stations, automated phone calling system (School Messenger), and posted on the SAU 24 website.

School officials may decide to delay the opening of schools by two hours if travel conditions are potentially unsafe at 5:30 a.m. but are expected to improve during the day. They may also delay openings if acceptable travel conditions exist at 5:30 a.m., but weather forecasts predict that conditions may soon worsen. In the event of a delayed opening, all half-day pre-K programs will be cancelled. A two-hour delay announcement may be followed by an announcement that the school is now closed for the day, if a reassessment of conditions so warrants. The decision to close schools after previously announcing a two-hour school delay will be announced via School Messenger, local television stations, and the SAU 24 website by 8:00 a.m.