From the Desk of Superintendent Czaporowski

It’s hard to believe that we are already into January, and we are almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-2023 school year.  Winter weather is upon us, and I will take this opportunity to review our district snow day procedures.  One of the many responsibilities that superintendents have is to call weather cancellation days or two-hour delays.  I assure you that all superintendents take this responsibility seriously and utilize a variety of data sources including weather forecasts, current conditions, and community consultations, to make these decisions.  Simply put, we do the best we can with the information that we have.  Ultimately, a collective decision is made with the safety of our students and staff as the top priority. 

Before I make the decision to cancel school or call for a two-hour delay, there is quite a bit of groundwork that occurs.  The first calls that are made, starting at about 4:30 a.m., include the school transportation and maintenance departments, the Department of Public Works (DPW), the Westfield Police Department, the Mayor, other superintendents in the area, and in extreme cases, Emergency Management.  I ask about road and sidewalk conditions and the status of our school parking lots and walkways.  I also text various staff members from around the city to see how things are in their neighborhoods.  In some cases, the roads may be fine, but since approximately fifty percent of our students are classified as walkers, I also need to consider whether residents have had the opportunity to shovel and treat their sidewalks. 

Delivering the message to stakeholders is my next task.  To head off bus departures, we must get the word out before 5:30 a.m.  I immediately contact several central office staff members who spread the message to our local television and radio stations, post information on our district website, contact local cable channel 15, and notify our bus company.  I then post notifications on our district Facebook page and send out a text message. My final step in this process is to send out a robocall.  Unfortunately, robocalls can take up to an hour to reach all our families and staff members.  Text message really is the fastest way that families can be notified of a delayed start, early dismissal, or school cancellation. 

So far, Westfield Public Schools has not had to use a weather cancellation day, keeping the last day of school on Wednesday, June 14.  If we were to use all five emergency days this year, our last day of school would be on Wednesday, June 21. When weather cancellation days, early dismissals, or delays are called, please know that we consider the safety of all our staff and students.  

Happy New Year from all of us in the Westfield Public Schools!

Stefan Czaporowski

Superintendent of Schools

Westfield Public Schools