John Barile, Bethany Superintendent
Lynn McMullin, Orange Superintendent
Guy Stella, Woodbridge Superintendent
Charles Dumais, Amity Superintendent
Once again we are facing the time of year when New England weather can be very unpredictable and severe. Area superintendents of schools must ensure that each district meets the state mandated number of school days and number of instructional hours in a safe and secure manner.
The Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge and Amity (BOWA) school districts will continue to participate in a regional school transportation collaborative. This arrangement allows elementary schools to dismiss at similar times and for the Orange and Bethany Middle Schools to open and dismiss at the same time in coordination with Amity Regional High School.
When one BOWA school district closes, delays the opening of school, or dismisses early due to inclement weather, all BOWA school districts will also close, delay, or dismiss early. A delayed opening for elementary, middle and high school will be two (2) hours. The BOWA superintendents try to make a decision to close or delay the opening of school by 5:30 a.m. based upon what is expected to happen in the next two to eight hours. Stay tuned when a delay has been announced since it might turn into a cancellation if weather conditions do not improve. Radio, television, school bus operators, staff and designated Internet-based sites will be notified immediately.
Although early dismissals are avoided whenever possible, it may be occasionally necessary to dismiss school early due to the unexpected deterioration of weather conditions. In these situations, an announcement will be issued by 10:30 a.m. Weather related early dismissal for middle school and high school students will be at 11:45 a.m. Bethany and Woodbridge elementary school students will be dismissed at 1:10 p.m. Orange elementary school students will be dismissed at 1:00 p.m., and the Orange regular-day kindergarten students will be dismissed at 11:00. Orange full-day kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:50 p.m. and go to their respective schools to take their neighborhood buses at 1:00 p.m.
Families should have an emergency back-up plan in place in the event of an early dismissal. Please make sure the children understand where they should go in the event of an early dismissal from school. Child care arrangements at home or on the same bus route should be made in advance of the early dismissal day since it will be impossible for the school staff to personally contact each parent. On days when the weather may be problematic, please stay tuned to the local radio and/or television channel to be aware of an early dismissal. As alternate drop-off and pick-up procedures vary from school to school, parents should follow the established procedure.
When school is cancelled, unless otherwise indicated, all activities and meetings are also cancelled. The school buildings will be closed.
The decision to delay, close school, or dismiss early is often a difficult one. During inclement weather when an administrative decision to open school has been made, this is not meant to preclude a family’s choice to keep their student(s) home. Families are encouraged to exercise their own judgment in such cases.