Emergency Procedures and Protocols

Dear Members of the Marshwood Community,

As residents of Maine, we are all fully aware of the difficulties weather can create.  As a result, MSAD 35 has worked together with the Town of Eliot and Town of South Berwick Emergency Management Directors, as well as each community’s Chief of Police, Fire Chief and Public Works Director to create clear emergency protocols in the event of a severe weather event or an unanticipated emergency.  These protocols will provide clear collaborative communication between the towns, the State of Maine and the school district.  In essence, I will work to gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision regarding our school’s opening, closing or having a delayed start time and then communicate this information by 5:45 am with members of our school district.

Over the past 8 years, a number of families have questioned why the phone calls to cancel school are so early in the morning;  the reality is that our school buses begin their morning routine as early as 5:50 am with the first students being picked up at approximately 6:20 am.  Therefore, some children are required to walk to their bus stops, up to ½ mile, and will be leaving their homes by 6:00 am.  Below you will see listed the various outlets where MSAD 35 will post information in the event of a change in our school’s daily status.

It is also important to note that weather conditions can range across our district and there may be times that as a parent, you decide to keep your child home when school is open.  I want to assure you that the district will support you in your decision, as we believe that if you as parent do not feel it is safe to have your child or children attend school, you should keep your children home.  In these cases, the absence would be considered “excused” and any work that was missed may be made up in a reasonable period of time.  I also want to provide some clarity for two scenarios that have caused some confusion in the past that could occur due to inclement weather.

  • Two Hour Delay – A two hour delay will result in all schools moving their start times back 2 hours. Bus pickup times will be 2 hours later than normal.
  • Two Hour Delay on a Delayed Start Thursday – A two hour delay on an Early Release/Delayed Start Thursday will result in all schools starting two hours later than a typical day. For example, Marshwood Middle School typically starts at 7:30 am, but if a 2-hour delay were needed, school would start at 9:30.  The Elementary School would still release at the Thursday early release time.

Providing a safe environment for our students and staff is our priority.  Thank you for your continued support!

John S. Caverly, M.Ed.
Superintendent of Schools

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