Procedures for Weather Related School Closings and Delayed Openings
Monday, January 23, 2017
As we head into the heart of the winter, the Montclair Public Schools would like to remind families of the notification systems and procedures for school closing and delayed openings due to inclement weather.
When a decision is made by the Superintendent regarding a school closing or delayed opening due to inclement weather, an alert message is posted in the moving “text alert” at the top of each page on the district website. The announcement usually appears by 6 a.m. There may be an occasion where a decision is made the night before, in which case, the alert will appear at that time.
The district’s automated system is activated to call, text, or email the families of all students in the case of either a school closing or delayed opening. Emails and phone messages to families and recorded school open/closed status messages are both in English and Spanish. SMS (text messages to cell phones) messages are English only. Please make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your Family Access account.
In addition, parents may also receive information by:
- Calling any school's main number and pressing option 6 (except for the MHS main building: press option 9) — School closures and delayed openings
- Calling the main number at Central Office: (973) 509-4000 — School closures and delayed openings
- Watching — or logging on to — New Jersey News12/Channel 62; Verizon FiOS1 News; WABC-TV/Channel 7; WNBC-TV/Channel 4; WCBS-TV/Channel 2; Fox 5 NY. Radio reports can be found at 1010 WINS and WOR.
Making the Decision to Close or Delay Opening
While we try our best to avoid disrupting regular school schedules as it may inconvenience some parents, staff and students, the decision to close the schools is made by the Superintendent when there is a clear indication that weather conditions could endanger the safety of children.
In addition to compounding traffic congestion throughout the town, transporting students on school buses could put both children and drivers in danger depending on road conditions.
Delayed Opening Procedures
In the event of a delayed opening, schools will admit students two hours after the normal opening time. Students should report to their regular bus stop two hours after the normal time; riders should be prepared for possible delays due to poor road conditions and slower moving traffic.
Please note the start times of each school if there is a delayed opening:
Bradford: 10:50 a.m.
Charles H. Bullock: 10:50 a.m.
Edgemont: 10:20 a.m.
DLC: 11:00 a.m.
Hillside: 11:20 a.m.
Nishuane: 11:20 a.m.
Northeast: 10:20 a.m.
Watchung: 10:50 a.m.
Buzz Aldrin: 9:50 a.m.
Glenfield: 9:50 a.m.
Renaissance: 10:20 a.m.
Montclair High School: 10 a.m.
Once schools are in session, students will complete the school day as usual. Lunch will be served on delayed opening days. Students will be dismissed and buses will depart at the regularly scheduled time. In the event of a delayed opening on a previously scheduled abbreviated day, dismissal time will be at the end of the regular school day.
Worsening Weather Conditions and After-School Activities
The Superintendent monitors weather reports throughout the day. However, the district’s policy is to keep schools open until the regular dismissal time. Staff members will remain on site at all schools until every child has departed on the bus, has been dismissed following their normal routine from the school or has been picked up by a parent or caregiver. Parents may pick up their children early if they choose by reporting to the main office at the school.
In some instances, after-school activities may be cancelled due to the weather conditions. We understand the need for parents and guardians to be notified in a timely manner of the cancellation of these after-school programs; however a decision will not take place prior to 1 p.m. At that time, messages will appear on the district website as well as sent via email, text and automated call. We ask that parents/caregivers do not call the schools or the district regarding the cancellation of after-school activities before 1 p.m.
We encourage parents/guardians to have an emergency back-up plan or identify an individual who will serve as an emergency contact should after-school programs be cancelled.