Return to Headlines

EWSD School/District Cancellation Updates for 2020-21

December 9, 2020
As we quickly move into the wintry months, we wanted to share with you a few updates around school cancellations and remote learning. 


Recently, we sent out a survey asking all of our parents, staff, and students in grades 6-12 what you would prefer in regards to remote learning if schools were canceled the day of or the night before. We wanted to thank you so much for sharing your voices with us, as we had nearly 4,400 people respond! You can view the tallies broken down by group at the bottom of this document.

Updated Cancellation Information for 2020-2021


COVID Related School Closures

  • If there is a school-wide or cohort of students/staff who need to quarantine, there will be remote learning for the impacted school or cohort
  • If there is a school closure due to a lack of staff to run a school in a safe and manageable way, remote learning may be possible depending upon the availability of teachers


Weather-Related School Closures/Delays

  • If there is a school/District closure due to weather and/or road conditions that morning, there will be no remote learning
  • If there is a school/District closure due to weather and/or road conditions the day prior, or if schools could be closed for several days due to a predicted storm and/or storm event, remote learning may take place if we have adequate staff 
  • If a school/District needs to close mid-day due to weather and/or road conditions, there will be no remote learning that afternoon 
  • NEW: In the case where the weather causes roads/sidewalks to be unsafe to travel on during our normal school commute time, but we are informed by our local public works departments that the roads could be cleared by 8 a.m., the District will operate on a two-hour delay for in-person, hybrid, and fully remote learning.
    • Buses would arrive two hours after their normal time (if the bus normally arrives at 7:15 a.m., it will arrive at 9:15 a.m.)
    • School would begin two hours later than the normal start time (if the normal start time is 8 a.m. - school will begin at 10 a.m.)


You can also view this information formatted in a table here


The Town and Village Public Works Departments wanted to share the following special winter alert message for Essex residents: Maintaining the Essex roads will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The District will be notified by the Public Works Department as to what capacity we are able to clear the roads and sidewalks. It will also be posted on the Town website


As always, our partnership with our community public works in both Westford and Essex is important to us and we will be making school closing decisions on their capacity to maintain the roads.   


For school/District closings, the EWSD utilizes an automated emergency notification system which will contact families via email, and primary and secondary phone numbers listed with each school. The message will also be shared via the district’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, mobile app, school websites, and will be shared with local TV and radio.


For more information on how the decision is made to close schools, please read this Q&A


Like with everything else, we are in this together and we are all working to get our students to school safely!


With gratitude,


Beth Cobb
EWSD Superintendent


EWSD snow survey results