The Londonderry School District announced last week that the procedure for delayed school openings has been adjusted, with snow days to begin two hours later than school start times.
In previous years, delayed school openings meant classes would begin 90 minutes later than the usual start times.
During significant snow storms last year, the School District faced a number of challenges busing students, including a shortage of bus drivers during a storm in early February, and a series of substantial storms in January.
When a high number of drivers called in sick and the District didn’t have enough replacements, there were delays in pick-up times by as much as 5 to 10 minutes.
In an effort to further assist with busing students during inclement weather, the School Board voted in May to purchase bus routing software and an alert system that would have enabled the District to notify parents of bus delays.
Business Administrator Peter Curro had explained that a simple alert to parents that the buses are running 10 minutes late during a snow storm could help families plan their commutes and ease anxiety over whether or not to continue waiting outside.
However, the District learned they couldn’t purchase the software in FY16 because it was included in a warrant article that failed in the March election.
Although the District is unable to implement the alert system, they anticipate the additional 30 minutes for delayed openings will help with busing students during inclement weather by allowing more time for the Public Works department to treat the roads before the buses go out.
“The extra 30 minutes will give the Public Works Department additional time to clear and treat the roads, provide additional daylight for those students driving to school and provide additional time needed for some of our extended bus routes due to some of the growth we have had in certain sections of town,” Superintendent Nate Greenberg wrote in a letter sent out to parents in the District on Sept. 30.
Moving forward, the opening times for Londonderry schools in the event of a delayed opening are as follows: Londonderry High School, 9:20 a.m.; Londonderry Middle School, 10:05 a.m.; and Londonderry elementary schools, 10:50 a.m. Moose Hill’s morning session will be cancelled when there is a delayed opening.