Weather Influenced School Cancellation Process

Weather Influenced School Cancellation Process

School Cancelation due to the Weather

Winter has arrived and so has my responsibility to make the sometimes-unpopular decision to delay or close the school buildings due to inclement weather conditions.  In the past, students, ever happy to have a day off, would cheer me while, parents and family managers would shudder, depending on their schedule.  THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT. If I make the decision to cancel in-person instruction, we will move to distance learning. School will continue virtually despite the weather. Students should log into all their classes using Google Classroom and follow their normal schedule for that day, Students should also follow their teacher’s instructions throughout the day. With this new change, we will not have to make up school days that changed to Distance Learning at the end of the school year planned for June.

Under any circumstance, it is an important decision and not one that I make without serious consideration of many different factors.  For your information below, I have outlined my decision-making process as follows:


1. Road conditions – the Tiverton Department of Public Works is contacted for information on road conditions. Careful consideration is given to roads in the district with the most hazardous conditions. Even if your street looks clear, travel elsewhere in town may be dangerous. Also, I must consider that some high school students drive to school.

2. The existing accumulation of snow and/or ice

3. The rate and expected duration of this precipitation

4. School building conditions (such as electricity and heat)

5. School parking lot conditions - The Director of Facilities, Mike Mendes, contacts the maintenance and custodial staff who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks.

6. Temperature and wind-chill factors - Please keep in mind that several students either walk to school or wait on sidewalks for the school bus without shelter or protection from the elements.

7. Weather predictions - I prefer not to make my decision based on weather predictions since they are not always accurate. However, this may be unavoidable. Please understand when weather warnings are given, I am awake at 4:00 am to begin the process, as listed above, to gather all the relevant information in order to make a careful and well-informed decision.  The students’ safety is my number one priority and my decision to close or delay school depends upon it.

8. I also consult other districts and share information with local superintendents and take their recommendations into consideration when making my decision.


As Superintendent of Schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the Department of Public Works and the Director of Facilities.


My goal is to make the decision by 5:30 a.m. or earlier so that the radio and TV stations can be notified.  I realize that if I wait longer to announce a closing, some parents or teachers will have already left for work, leaving their children unsupervised.


The public is first notified through the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association.  The district’s mass communication software is then activated, which sends an email and phone call to all parent or guardian information on record based on the information you submitted into our student data system known as Aspen. It is imperative that you keep your student’s school office staff up to date with your correct phone number, email address and physical address in order to be promptly notified. The district also maintains a Facebook and Twitter page and my twitter account is @TivertonSuper, each of these will offer notification simultaneously. A local media channel list has been provided within the next page.

In closing, there are several items that factor into my final decision, none more important than the safety of our students and staff. The verdict to close or not to close is more of an art than a science and I know I am only as good as my last decision. However, my decision is made based upon information that is available to me at the time that this decision must be made as stated in the paragraphs above. I look forward to a safe and successful winter season and I thank you for your patience and understanding.



Peter Sanchioni, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools







RI PBS / Channel 36




92.3 WPRO

93.3 WSNE

94.1 WHJY

95.5 WBRU

98.1 WCTK

99.7 WSKO

100.3 WKKB

101.5 WWBB

101.5 WWBB

102.7 JAZZ

105.1 WWLI

106.3 WWKX

1450 WLKW


1590 WARV

630 WPRO

790 WSKO

920 WHJJ

1110 WPMZ

1180 WCNX

1240 WOON

1290 WRNI

1540 WADK

1590 WAR


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