Superintendent, on no school delay decision: ‘I sincerely apologize’

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Dear Manchester family:

Dr. Debra Livingston
Dr. Debra Livingston

The responsibility of determining whether to close or delay school for inclement weather is taken very seriously by the administration of the Manchester School District. Safety of students and staff is always high priority. The decision for closing or delaying school must be made before 5:30 am, and I start making phone calls well before then – to the state highway department, Manchester Department of Public Works, the police department and forecasters, among others – to get as much input as possible about weather conditions.

This morning, prior to 5:00 am, all of the information I received indicated that road conditions and other factors would not prevent safe travel to school at the regular time. More snow fell after sunrise than anticipated, and we know now that many roads were not easy to navigate. A winter weather advisory was issued by the National Weather Service at 8:03 am.

Many parents are angry and frustrated because school was not delayed.  I want you to know that I’ve heard you, and I sincerely apologize to the Manchester School District community for today’s decision not to delay the opening of school. Today, as in almost every instance, the decision can be difficult, and timing is a critical component. Please be assured that I don’t take my obligation lightly; I know the safety of our students depends on it.

Debra Livingston
Superintendent

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Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.