The Superintendent (or designee in his/her absence) will make the open/close/delay decision informed by input from local weather service, Sudbury DPW, Sudbury Police and area superintendents. The decision starts with an assumption that schools will be open and will operate on a regular schedule; weather and travel conditions will determine if closing or a 1 hr/ 2 hr delay may be necessary.
Once schools have opened for the day, it is highly unlikely that students will be dismissed early. If a directive from the state or local safety officials is received to close school during normal school hours, the procedures for early dismissal below will be followed.
It is assumed that buses will run their regular routes anytime school is open. During any type of severe storm, drivers will adjust the stops to better accommodate students and parents. This may include waiting longer at the stop or modify the location or number of stops. Parents should understand that during storms or inclement weather, pick-up and drop-off times will be extended.
Especially in emergencies, it is important for the bus drivers (including substitute drivers) to know, or have an accurate list of, which students are on the bus and what stop they are to utilize.
In the case of emergency, a parent may request that a student, who does not normally ride a bus, be allowed to ride the bus to a particular stop. This would only be accommodated on an existing route, an existing stop and providing space is available on the bus.
If a bus is unable to travel on a particular road or unable to reach a particular stop, the driver will notify the bus dispatcher immediately. The dispatcher and driver will call parents of the students affected AND call Sudbury Transportation Office, which in turn will notify the schools. The dispatcher may request the Sudbury Transportation Office or the school assist in calling.
No elementary student will be released at a non-regular bus stop unless a parent or designated adult is present to receive the student. Students shall not be left at a stop with the assumption that a parent will be coming. If a parent or recognized adult is not present, an elementary child will remain on the bus and returned to the school. The Sudbury Transportation Office shall be notified immediately if a child remains on the bus. The Sudbury Transportation Office will notify the school.
Middle School students may be released at, or near, the designated stop providing the student indicates that he/she has a safe place to go and is able to get there.
If a bus becomes disabled in route, the driver will notify the bus dispatcher immediately. Dispatcher calls for the appropriate emergency response and determines if another bus should be dispatched to transport students. The Dispatcher calls Sudbury Transportation Office who will notify the schools; all parents of those students on the bus will be notified. Students will remain on the bus until alternative transportation arrives.
Any Emergency Requiring Early Dismissal or Delayed Dismissal
A decision to dismiss early or delay dismissal may be district wide or school(s) specific. In the event the decision is for a specific school, the Superintendent will immediately inform all other school principals of the possible impact of such a decision.
Any decision to dismiss school early should be made with sufficient time to notify the bus company and district drivers, local officials, and parents.
The decision to dismiss a school or all schools rests with superintendent in collaboration with the principal(s). Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School will be consulted but a joint decision is not required. School principals are empowered to contact the superintendent with the recommendation to dismiss students early based on conditions that exist at the school.
Directives to close early from the state or local officials shall be communicated to the Superintendent.
When a Decision is Made to Dismiss
The Superintendent will immediately contact school principals and administrative team to set the dismissal time and initiate the communication plan. The Superintendent will notify appropriate local officials and may initiate the Reverse 911 system to begin notification of parents.
Dismissal time shall be set in collaboration with the bus company and allowing ample opportunity to contact parents.
School principals will initiate the school dismissal notification plan. This will include initiating an emergency phone chain, Blackboard, an email blast, a direct phone contact from a school employee, or any combination of these options.
METCO students will be released as early as possible. The METCO office will contact all parents and, to the extent possible, arrange for a single drop-off of students.
Any decision to delay the dismissal of a school or schools should be made with sufficient time to notify the bus company and district drivers, local officials, and all parents.
The decision to delay dismissal rests with the Superintendent in collaboration with the School principal(s). However, the School principal is empowered to make a decision to hold students at school or delay bus loading or leaving, if conditions are, or potentially could become, unsafe for travel. Once a principal has made this decision, the superintendent shall be notified immediately.
When a decision for a delayed dismissal is made, the Superintendent will immediately contact School principals and administrative team members to discuss procedures and timeline (if possible) and to initiate the communication plan.
The Superintendent will notify appropriate local officials and may initiate the Blackboard system to begin notification of parents.
School principals will initiate the school delayed dismissal notification plan. This will include initiating an emergency phone chain, the Blackboard system, an email blast, a direct phone contact from a school employee, or any combination of these options.
METCO students will be delayed as well but will be released as soon as safely possible. The METCO office will inform all parents and, to the extent possible, arrange for a single drop-off of students.
Parents will be informed of dismissal procedures and approximate timeline. Information and status for parent pickup, walkers, and bus riders will be communicated.
The bus company will notify the Sudbury Transportation Office when a bus has completed its route and all students are safely home. This information will be communicated to the schools.
In any emergency, communication is imperative to safety, efficiency, effectiveness and assurance.
Sudbury Police and Sudbury DPW:
Sudbury Police and DPW officials are asked to provide the superintendent with pertinent information about road, weather, travel, or other safety conditions. Directives from state officials or information regarding travel limitations shall be communicated.
Bus Company and District Bus Drivers:
All busses and vans will be equipped with an operating radio or cell phone. In the event of emergencies, an emergency phone number or radio communication shall remain open between the bus dispatcher and the Sudbury Transportation Office.
School Communication Plan:
Each school shall develop and publish a Communication Plan for use in case of emergencies. A copy of this plan shall be included in the District Emergency Plan and provided to parents and staff.
District Cell Phones:
Cell Phones will be provided to each school for internal emergency use only.
Parents shall provide the school with a primary contact number for use in emergencies. Parent cell phone numbers should be provided to the school to allow contact options.
In emergencies, parents are encouraged not to call the school or bus dispatcher. This ties up limited phone lines and makes emergency plan management and Communication Plan calls more difficult and time consuming.