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A Message from Bradley V. Smith, Superintendent of Schools
 December 6, 2015

 
Dear Parents and Families of MSAD No. 75,
 
One would hardly think from the weather that it is December in Maine.  However, it is Maine, and no doubt colder weather and snow are in the future!  Now is a good time to review with you how decisions about school closures are made.  It is always our intent to err on the side of safety of our students and our staff.  
 
Deciding whether or not school should be in session, as a result of weather-related issues, is not an exact science. Rather, it is the combined efforts of several people engaged in making their best assessment of weather conditions to determine whether or not conditions warrant closing or opening school that day. You may not realize, but because of our proximity and the shared Region 10 Vocational Center, MSAD 75 makes these decisions in collaboration with Brunswick School Department and RSU 5 (Freeport, Pownal, Durham).
 
These decisions begin late at night as superintendents and transportation supervisors check the latest forecast. Our transportation supervisor, based upon weather forecasts, will get up at 4:00 a.m. and check weather reports on TV and internet, including weather radar.  If needed, he will call the town road commissioner, and/or the Sheriff’s Department.  He also drives around certain areas to assist in his recommendation.  He will contact me by 4:45 a.m.
 
He shares any information about conditions that may make school closure/delay necessary.  These are difficult decisions to make, since weather and road conditions can vary from Bowdoin and Bowdoinham down to Harpswell.  In addition, these decisions are compounded by the fact that it is still dark outside. The three area superintendents confer via telephone and attempt to reach common agreement, or vary the decision from district to district.  Once made, the decision is communicated to the transportation supervisors, and I activate the automated telephone messaging system.  These calls share the information with each student and staff residence telephone number.   Local media are then notified as well.  All of this must be completed by 5:30 – 5:45 a.m.
 
Please keep in mind that weather conditions and forecasts can change significantly from early morning to afternoon. Our decision to cancel or open school also depends upon the ability to safely transport students home at the end of the day!
 
If school is to be open, and you are concerned about sending your children to school that day due to weather conditions in your area of town, please do keep them at home.  When they return to school they will be given time to complete any school work that they may have missed, without penalty.
 
Again, the announcement of whether school has been cancelled or the opening of school has been delayed, will be announced via the phone messaging system, and on local radio and television, no later than 5:30-6:00 a.m., depending on when the storm arrives.  The safety of students and staff is our greatest concern.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Bradley V. Smith
Superintendent of Schools
 

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