When Weather Strikes

When potentially-dangerous weather conditions are forecast for Cambridge, CPS consults with City officials and neighboring superintendents to determine whether or not to cancel school. We do our best to make the decision as early as possible (i.e, the night before), but sometimes weather conditions are so uncertain that we need to wait until early morning to make the call. Among the variables that must be weighed in making this decision are:

  • Ensuring the safety of students and staff in getting to and from school
  • Consideration of families who do not have the flexibility to take a day off from work to care for their children – and seeking to minimize the number of children who might be left home alone
  • Recognizing that the City of Cambridge has an exceptionally effective snow removal and road treatment program
  • Seeking to conserve snow days for the long winter by avoiding unnecessary cancellations

People often ask about the option of delayed openings or early dismissals. After analyzing these options, CPS has a longstanding practice not to make changes to the school schedule in a weather emergency due to the potential risks involved. To delay our start time could potentially put families in the position where they would seek to drop off students at school before the staff have been told to report to work. At the end of the day, buses might attempt to deliver young students home without parents ready to meet them at the bus stop.

The safety concerns are too great, and so we have had the longstanding practice of either canceling school or holding school for a full day. When we do cancel the school day, this cancellation is announced widely through nearly all available communication methods.

When it seems possible that school might be canceled but determination has not yet been made, we recommend the following:

  • Have a plan in place for your children's supervision in case of a school cancellation.
  • Be ready to make your own determination that based on weather conditions, it's not safe for your child to travel to school – whether or not school is in session that day. If you make that determination, you may keep your child at home with no penalty. (It will be an excused absence.)

Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide significant notice in every situation – sometimes the weather will be unexpectedly worse than predicted. We appreciate your understanding and patience during these times.

If you have concerns or suggestions about this information, please don't hesitate to email [email protected] and someone will get back to you.

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