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District Communications

Dear Families, Students, and Community Members: 

I would like to share the procedures used in cancelling school, delaying the opening of school, and sending students home early during severe weather conditions or other emergency situations.

A. CANCELLING SCHOOL – During inclement weather, I stay in direct contact with several resources: the Schools’ Director of Buildings and Grounds, the Hopkinton Public Works Department, and the Hopkinton Police Department. Each lends insight about the conditions of roads and access to the schools. If the roads and sidewalks are judged to be unsafe for travel, I make the decision to cancel school. The television stations listed below will broadcast this information, as will Twitter and Facebook. I will also send out an automated message from the school district’s emergency notification system and post the cancellation on the HPS website. 


Television Station



CH 4


CH 5

SchoolMessenger Email/SMS


CH 7

SchoolMessenger Phone Call


CH 10 (Hopkinton Educational Access)


CH 25 (Fox)



PLEASE DO NOT call the Police or Fire Department on bad weather days. They need their lines to be open for emergencies. 

B. DELAYED OPENING – Rather than close school for a whole day during short-term weather situations, there may be days when the beginning of school will be delayed one or two hours. When the opening of school is delayed, Facebook, Twitter, the district website, and the television stations listed above will broadcast whether school will start one or two hours later than usual. Bus pickup, therefore, will also occur one or two hours later. During a one-hour delayed opening, for example, a child who would usually be picked up at 8:35 A.M. would  be picked up at 9:35 A.M. On these days morning preschool will be cancelled. Lunch will be available on days when there is a delayed opening, and student dismissals will be at the regularly scheduled times. 

C. EMERGENCY DISMISSAL – If it is necessary to dismiss schools prior to regular times, announcements will be made on the television stations used for school cancellation. Emergency dismissal information will also be posted on Twitter, Facebook, and the schools’ website. In addition, families will receive an automated message from the school district’s emergency notification system. Although it is very unlikely that we would need to dismiss early, it does happen, and families will need to ensure there will be adult supervision at home. Accordingly, now would be a good time to review with your child, your extended family, and your friends and neighbors where your child should go if you cannot be home. During worsening weather situations that warrant early dismissal, afternoon preschool is likely to be cancelled. 

Naturally, your child’s safety is our greatest concern. With your cooperation, we can keep inconveniences to a minimum. Please note that even when a decision is made to open school during inclement weather, as a parent or guardian you can always decide to keep your child home if you do not feel that road conditions are safe. The school district respects your right to do so.

Thank you for your assistance.

Carol Cavanaugh, PhD
Superintendent of Schools