School Closures Are Complex: Here are 5 Things You Should Know

With winter just around the corner, we wanted to revisit and share the process around how BVP makes the call to open, close, or have a delayed start.

1. We constantly monitor numerous outlets to get the most up-to-date information in order to make an informed decision. This includes:

  • Weather Authorities
  • State and Local Officials (e.g., Governor’s recommendations and announcements)
  • Other School Districts (e.g., our Sending Districts of Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, and Pawtucket, as well as Providence)

2. It’s impossible to predict exactly what weather conditions will be in advance.

  • We’ve called for School Delays on really bad forecasts, only to find that basically nothing happened and we could have started on time.
  • We’ve also opened school as normal, only to be hit by several inches of snow during arrival.

3. School Cancellation and Delay decisions are often last minute.

  • After compiling information from weather authorities, state and local officials, and other school districts, our Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Chiappetta, makes a decision morning-of by 6 a.m. or earlier, if possible. Often times, Jeremy and our Chief Operating Officer, Michael DeMatteo, drive from school to school at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning to access driving conditions.
  • School closures and/or delays will first be communicated on Jeremy’s Twitter account ( Very shortly thereafter, the information will be shared on BVP’s social media accounts, ParentSquare, and via BVP_All emails (for staff).

4. Our goals are always 1) to keep scholars, staff, and families safe and 2) to respect the sanctity and the routine of the school day.

  • We will always seek to keep schools open when it’s safe to do so.
  • We want to make sure we use every moment our kids have to learn!
  • And, if we fall below 180 school days, we have to make it up. We’re prohibited from going into July to add days, so that means adding on days at the end of June, running full school days on Good Friday, April Break, and/or Saturdays, all of which we want to avoid.
  • School closures bum out scholars and families. Here are some messages we’ve received on social media when we close:
    1. “My kids love BVP so much. They are both upset that there is no school tomorrow.”
    2. “Mine went to bed in tears!”

5. We’ve been working for years to get it right.

  • Jeremy has been blogging about this for years (and years :-). In the spirit of continuous improvement, we have made, and will continue to make, adjustments to the process over time.