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Snow and School Closings

by Superintendent Brad Jackson
March 21, 2018

Dear Holliston Staff, Parents and Guardians:

Current weather forecasts suggest that Holliston will be seeing a winter storm beginning some time on Wednesday March 21st that might continue into the morning hours of Thursday, March 22nd. Most current forecasts (as of 5PM on Tuesday) seem to be suggesting that the snow may hold off for a good part of Wednesday and are equally unclear about when the snow will end on Thursday. While forecasters aren’t currently predicting that this storm is a “blockbuster” (at least compared to the past few ones), this storm, and its timing in particular, poses several challenges when making school cancellation/delay/early dismissal decisions.

Given the uncertain nature of the forecasted snowfall amounts for Wednesday late morning and early afternoon, parents should also be alert to the possibility that even if school begins on time, should the snowfall begin earlier or be heavier than forecast, it might become necessary to dismiss school early (called an “Early Dismissal”) where the High School and Middle School are dismissed at 10:35AM, Miller School at 11:10AM and Placentino at 11:50AM

Also, if weather conditions dictate, we sometimes employ a tool called “Accelerated Dismissal” where the High School and Middle School are dismissed at 1PM, Miller at 2PM and Placentino at its normal 3:15PM dismissal time. This technique is employed when driving conditions are expected to cause delays along our bus routes and maximize the chances that dismissal time at Placentino will be as close to 3:15 PM as possible. If required, decisions to conduct either an Early Dismissal or Accelerated Dismissal will be made as early as possible and will be posted on our website http://www.holliston.k12.ma.us

Alternatively, you can Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hollistonschools or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Holliston_PS

Please monitor these sites throughout the day on Wednesday should weather conditions require an adjustment in our regular school schedule.

As we turn our attention to Thursday, March 22nd, the timing of the storm’s exit may also pose challenges. As a reminder, we sometimes call a “Delayed Opening” where the start of school is delayed by a fixed period of time, between 1-2 hours, as dictated by current conditions. This decision will also be made no later than 5:15AM and 5:30AM on Thursday morning and communicated via our website, the Holliston Public Schools Facebook page, HCAT and Channels 4, 5, 7, and 25, if changes to our normal operating hours are necessary.

Of course, should the weather conditions change or the timing of the snow-event be altered, I may be forced to close school on either or both days. Again, only time will tell.

Finally, we will NOT be checking for bus passes on our High School and Middle School bus runs on both Wednesday and Thursday. I encourage parents of high school students who are concerned about having their inexperienced driver(s) on the road during this weather event to take advantage of this opportunity.

This winter’s weather has posed challenges to many in Holliston and wreaked havoc on our school schedule. For many, this week’s storm and possible further impact on school schedules are being greeted with dread rather than excitement and anticipation. While I am painfully aware of the consequences of having any additional snow days, my decisions will be made solely with student and staff safety in mind. Please carefully monitor our website and have family plans in place for the multiple options that I described above. Patience and tolerance will help us all “weather” this upcoming storm and I am confident that spring will arrive -- eventually!



Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


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Comments (1)

At the moment, many FIOS customers in Holliston have no, or possibly some unreliable, internet. How will they get this message?

You don't have to print this, just inform the School Dept. This my third day without FIOS internet but I can get it through my cell phone.


- Henry Dellicker | 3/21/18 8:42 AM



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