At various times throughout the year, our region experiences both anticipated weather events such as snow storms, wind and ice storms as well as unanticipated emergency events such as power outages. In the fall of 2012, the district worked together with the Emergency Management Directors for both Eliot and South Berwick, each town’s Chief of Police, Fire Chief and Public Works Directors to develop a coherent set of emergency protocols and a communication system for both anticipated weather events and for unanticipated emergency events. These clear protocols essentially require me to gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision regarding our schools’ opening, closing or delayed start times before 5:30 a.m. and then to communicate any change to our usual school opening times to over 2,600 contacts.
Since weather and conditions surrounding other unanticipated emergency events can change quickly, there will always be a myriad of nuanced contingencies that present themselves within the decision-making process. As a result, there may be occasions when you decide to keep your child home when our schools are open.
Notwithstanding the decision of the district to open, close or delay the start of its schools, as your child’s parent, you are the best judge of what road and weather conditions you believe are safe or unsafe for your family’s travel. If you believe that your child(ren) should not come to school during an inclement weather event, you should keep your child home. In these cases, your child will be listed as having an “excused” absence and any schoolwork missed on that day will be able to be completed in a timely manner.
Finally, although we cannot predict what media systems will be operational or offline at your home or workplace during a weather event or other unanticipated emergency, we have developed numerous pathways for delivering information regarding our schools’ status. These information pathways include:
Posting on the district’s website front page: www.rsu35.org
Posting on the district’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marshwood-Schools/258524500918045
Notification via TV channels 6, 8 and 13
Notification via radio stations WTSN, WOKQ, the Portland Radio Group, WHEB/WERZ
Phone message and email via Connect-ED
It is my hope that at least one platform of information will be available to you during a storm or other emergency event so that you can have the latest information regarding your child’s school status.
As your Superintendent I want to assure you that I hold the safety of our students and staff as my highest priority and I strive to make the best decision I can with the best available information I have at the time regarding school closings or delayed starts. Thank you for your continued support!
Mary Nash, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools