The Cancellation of School on October 17, 2019

A Message Regarding the Cancellation of School on October 17, 2019
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Dear Families,

The decision to close Salem Public Schools today, October 17, was made under unusual circumstances that required the district to make the announcement later than we would typically do so. The worst of the nor'easter that began late Wednesday evening reached Salem in the early morning hours of Thursday at around 3 a.m. This made it challenging for the district and the city to assess damage, including downed wires and power outages at our school buildings. We ultimately were forced to cancel school shortly after 6:30 a.m. this morning out of concern for student safety and for public safety on our city's roads. We opted to cancel, even late, rather than put any student at risk.


During this time period, some students had already been picked up by their school buses or were brought to school and had to be picked up by a parent or guardian. Principals and other administrators were stationed at schools to facilitate the safe return of students back home whether that was by parent pick up or school bus.


I would like to apologize to families that were inconvenienced and assure the entire district that today's late decision was a result of the unusual timing and circumstances of last night’s weather event. Nevertheless, I am reviewing with my team our procedures in partnership with the city to determine how we can improve our response time should we experience a similar event in the future. Please know, our goal is always to give families as much advanced notice as possible so that arrangements can be made.

I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Kathleen Smith, Interim Superintendent of Schools

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