Why did the district call for an early dismissal last week when we ended up having only snow flurries and mostly rain?

Snow calls are one of the most challenging areas of job responsibilities as a superintendent. If there is any threat of storm weather, I get up at 4:00 a.m. and start the morning “storm” routine of speaking with district facilities staff and getting an update on town road conditions in preparation for a conference call at 4:30 a.m. with a meteorologist and other local superintendents in the area to discuss forecasted weather conditions.

If it is snowing/​sleeting outside during the night and predicted to continue through the morning bus runs, it is usually easy to determine a delay/​cancellation of school.

The most problematic situations to call include what occurred last week. With no precipitation in the morning and a 50-50 call that afternoon bus runs would hit snow and ice while transporting students home, it was a calculated decision to call off school early. If the line of demarcation for freezing trended southward, the town would have much ice with which to deal; if the freezing line trended northward, the town would have mostly rain and no issue with transportation.

With a fleet of buses scheduled to be in the height of their dismissal runs during the predicted storm period and cognizant that the district also has several hundred youthful drivers at the high school, I called for an early dismissal. Temperatures moderated in Weston that afternoon, and it rained.

Ultimately, the decision to dismiss early was not needed as the weather events unfolded during the afternoon, but the decision regarding an early dismissal needed to be made many hours before with the best information at that time.