District News and Events

  • Snow Day and Blizzard Bag Day FAQ

    It is that time of year again, when we are forced to pay closer attention to the weather forecast.  One of the most difficult challenges I have as a Superintendent is deciding whether or not to cancel or delay school due to inclement weather. Like weather forecasting, the school-closing decision process is not a perfect science. However, I believe it is important for students and parents to understand how it works. Below you will find some Frequently Asked Questions about snow days. Please pay particular attention to the first one, “What is a Blizzard Bag Day”, since it is something new for Duxbury.
     
    What is a Blizzard Bag Day?
    This year we are piloting “Blizzard Bag” days, which are officially known as Alternative Structured Learning Days. In basic terms, if we are forced to close school due to inclement weather, we have the option of assigning students work to be completed at home (to be turned in at a later date).  

    The major benefit of Blizzard Bag days is that they count as an official school day. Said another way, we do not need to make up Blizzard Bag days in June. [Per State regulations, students must attend school for a minimum of 180 daysand the school year must end by June 30. If school is closed due to weather, the day is typically made-up at the end of the school year].
     
    The assignments for students are mandatory and count for attendance on the day of school cancellation. We recognize that completing assignments during storms may pose a challenge for some families, especially when there is a power outage.  Thus, the due date for assignments will be two weeks after the first day back to school. 

    Details about blizzard bag assignments and other school-specific information will come directly from the building principals in the coming days.
     
    What is a delayed opening?
    Rather than close school for a whole day due to short-term weather situations, there may be days when the beginning of school will be delayed one hour, ninety minutes, or two hours. School will simply start later by the length of the delay. Bus pickup, therefore, will also occur later. For example, if your child is normally picked up at 8:35am, during a two hour delayed opening he/she will be picked up at 10:35am. Lunch will still be available and dismissal will be at the regularly scheduled times.
     
    How will I know if school is closed, or if there is a delayed opening?
    Announcements about school closings and delays are posted in several places. Pro Tip:  I would recommend using the district website or social media postings as your primary source of information since notice on TV and Radio often lags behind.

    Note:  If school is closed and the Superintendent deems it a Blizzard Bag Day, the closure will still appear on TV/Radio, but will not indicate that it is a Blizzard Bag Day. Please check the other sources listed above to determine if it is a Blizzard Bag Day.

    What are parents’ responsibilities?
    The safety of your child is paramount. On days when weather conditions are questionable, but school remains open, parents are free to exercise their right to keep children home from school. Absences for weather-related reasons will be excused. Parents of young drivers are asked to reinforce winter weather driving skills: allowing extra travel time, reducing speed, and not worrying about being late.

     
    What time do you make the call?
    My goal is to make the decision to open, close, or delay by 5:45 a.m. or earlier. If I wait any longer, parents have little time to make arrangements for childcare, and some of our staff may have already left for work. Also, while I know there is often an interest in having a decision the night before, a lot can change overnight. Unless the storm is an absolute “can’t miss”, the decision will be made in the morning.

     

     

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