If the weather is severe enough, the decision to cancel school may be made the night before the snow day. If so, this will occur in time for the closing to run on the 10 p.m. news. In many cases, however, the decision is made the morning of the potential snow day. If a snow day is called, the district tries to make a decision by 6 a.m.
Superintendent of Schools makes the final decision about snow days. He checks weather maps and forecasts, and also works with district staff members to check the roads, district sidewalks and parking lots. He also discusses the possibility of a snow day with other area superintendents. It is a difficult decision and one that hinges on what is best for student safety.
Snow days are listed in a variety of places. Any time school is cancelled, all student and staff homes will receive a School Messenger call and/or email alerting them of the situation. It will also be listed in local media -- television stations, radio stations, and all web sites for these media outlets as well as newspapers. Finally, it will appear on the home page of our website and on our twitter account, @AndoverSchools, as well as our district Facebook page.
Note: School Messenger only notifies the "primary parent" as listed in the PowerSchool student database system. If you are not the primary parent, please check with that person, or check area media or school website or social media sites for information about snow days.
Most buses have diesel engines. When the temperature reaches a certain temperature, the fuel in these engines can gel. There are additives that can be included in the fuel to help prevent this from happening, but in extreme temperatures it can still sometimes occur. Another bus issue in cold weather is often late buses. This can occur because of the gelling issue, but can also happen simply because the buses take extra time on snowy or otherwise compromised roads.
Most districts that do late starts in inclement weather are small districts that have a single tier bus system. With more than 5,800 students, Andover uses a two-tier bus system, meaning that we pick up secondary students first, then go back on roads and pick up elementary students. In addition, larger districts such as Andover don’t have collection points where multiple families/students stay at one home. Logistically it doesn't work in a large district to use delayed starts (also called “mud routes” in some districts). These delayed starts can also be challenging for working families who may not have anyone to watch their children.
Not likely. Days above the state minimum are included in the school calendar each year and in addition, the state allows a partial credit for teacher professional learning days.