WEATHER RELATED DECISIONS REGARDING THE SCHOOL DAY
Friday, November 18, 2022
Dear Watertown Public Schools Families,
Now that colder temperatures have arrived, here are a few friendly reminders regarding weather related schedule changes to the regular school day. WPS’ top priority is to ensure the safety of our students and staff at all times. When there is potential for inclement weather, WPS closely monitors weather conditions to provide timely and accurate information to all of our families and staff.
How Weather-Related Decisions are Made
In close collaboration with the Town of Watertown’s local Police, Highway, School Maintenance Departments, and local weather service providers, information is collected and carefully reviewed to inform any decisions to change school schedules. With the priority of ensuring the safety of our students and staff at all times, the following factors are considered:
Road conditions - bus routes; drivability for cars
Sidewalk/lot/snow removal status
Precipitation and visibility
Temperatures, wind hazards, power outages
Projected forecasts for the duration of the day
Why Some Districts Have Different Weather Related Decisions
It is important to note that bordering towns to Watertown may sometimes make different weather related decisions. Superintendents in our local region work together to inform one another how their district will move forward during inclement weather situations; however, each town must make a decision based upon the information they have regarding the roads, the buildings, the busses, and even the forecast. In any case, all weather related decisions for the Watertown Public Schools are made specific to Oakville and Watertown.
Types of Schedule Changes
When collected information indicates that conditions are unsafe for students and staff and it is determined that a change to the school day is necessary, schedules may change as outlined in the chart below:
Two (2) hour delay
Three (3) hour delay
Emergency Early Dismissal
* However, with the uncertainty of weather forecasts, and the additional factors that must be accounted for – building readiness, bussing, etc. a call in advance is not always possible.
*Building Principals will contact parents of each respective building if there are any adjustments to arrival/dismissal times.
Emergency Contact Information
When we need to communicate a closure (early/emergency dismissal) and schools are already in session, we call the phone numbers listed in your child’s PowerSchool records.
Please log into your Powerschool to confirm the phone numbers listed in your child’s account.
If you are unsure how to log into your account, please contact your child’s school to check the contact numbers listed in both the “Home” field and all others.
Watertown Public Schools utilizes several tools to communicate information regarding weather-related closings or delays.
Phone - After the decision to delay or close school is made, the district sends a call to students’ home numbers and parents’ cell phone numbers. The district also sends a call to all staff. If there is an emergency and school must be dismissed early, the district sends an emergency call to all contact numbers associated with each student and to all staff. (If you are not receiving calls or would like to stop receiving calls, contact your child’s school via phone or email Michael Dalton at (DaltonMi@watertownps.org).
Email - After the decision to delay or close school is made, the district sends an email to all students and staff.
Other - After the decision to delay or close school is made, the district notifies local television stations, shares information on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and updates the district website (www.watertownps.org).
It is our goal as a district to provide clear and accurate information consistently throughout the year to minimize disruption as much as possible while always ensuring the safety of our students and staff. Thank you for your continued support of our schools and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out directly to your child’s school.