LYNN — Lynn Public Schools will have a delayed opening for the first time in about 20 years on Wednesday.
Schools and bus pick-up time will be delayed by two hours, but the regular dismissal time will not be affected. The delay was due to the snowstorm and the need for residents to use school lots during the city’s parking ban, which went into effect at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
There isn’t much protocol for a delayed opening in the district, since there hasn’t been one for more than 20 years, according to Superintendent Dr. Patrick Tutwiler.
Schools have either canceled or stayed open in the past, due to scenarios that would make a delayed opening challenging, such as the parking in school lots during snow emergencies and transportation challenges for families.
There was also the belief that Lynn Public Schools was too big, but Tutwiler said Worcester, a larger district, has delayed openings.
“It will be new,” Tutwiler said. “This is a new scenario, but I think it’s one that with the right communication, we can pull it off.”
Tutwiler said administrative officials have been researching how to safely and effectively implement a delayed opening. If the district deems it safe for students to get to school, then he believes it’s important to protect the school day. If there wasn’t a delay, school would have likely been canceled on Wednesday, because of parking.
The parking ban was expected to be lifted on Tuesday night, with residents required to have their cars out of the lots by 6 a.m. Wednesday. The two-hour delay is expected to provide enough time for lots to be cleared out and cars removed before school starts.
There are some concerns, many centered around effectively communicating the delay to parents and students, which was done all day on Tuesday, through social media posts, the school district website and calls home.
The last delay at Lynn Public Schools was before social media and robocalls home, so many parents didn’t know about it and brought their kids to school at the regular time where there was no one to greet the students.
Although school officials believe there’s been effective communication this time, there were still concerns about kids showing up to school early or waiting for a bus that’s on a two-hour delay.
But Tutwiler said there’s a plan in place for that, as the principal and vice-principal for each school will report to their respective buildings on a normal schedule to greet any early arrivals and bring them inside.