Winter Weather is Coming: Early Dismissal Pilot Project

Media Release: 
Monday, October 3, 2016

Deciding when to keep schools open, and when to cancel them during the winter can be challenging. 

CCRSB staff consult with multiple weather forecasts and forecasters, check on road conditions throughout the school board region via the RCMP and the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation, as well as our own staff members on the ground in each area, to help make the call to cancel school.

This year, we’re trying something new. 

Beginning this winter season, CCRSB schools and offices will be participating in an early dismissal pilot. Days when the forecast predicts developing winter weather conditions (blowing snow, icy roads, freezing rain, etc.) late in the day, CCRSB may consider announcing an early dismissal for schools. The early dismissal will be based on predicted weather conditions for certain geographical areas (Pictou, Colchester, Cumberland and East Hants), just like morning cancelations. Individual schools will not be dismissed early, only groups of schools, by geographical area. 

Why is this pilot needed?

The early dismissal pilot has two goals: 

  • To reduce the number of instructional (learning) days lost to a full day cancelation due to the weather, while keeping the health and safety of students and staff our top priority. 
  • To assist parents and guardians in their planning for days when the forecasted weather is poor. 

How will it work?

  • Early dismissal will be one or two hours before the usual school day end. For example, on a day when a one-hour early dismissal is announced in the morning, a school normally dismissing at 2:30 pm would dismiss at 1:30 pm that day. Bussed students who normally arrive at their bus stop at 3:15 pm should arrive at their bus stop at 2:15 pm. The end of the day simply rolls back an hour or two depending on the early dismissal decision.
  • How will students, parents and guardians know about the early dismissal?
  • The early dismissal decision will be announced on the school board website (, Twitter and Facebook by 6:30 am. 
  • The “All Schools OPEN” button on the CCRSB website will turn orange, and will read “Early Dismissal”. Click on the button to get information about the early dismissal decision, including where it will be happening.
  • The early dismissal decision will be sent to all local media, to be carried on the radio and on news websites.
  • Schools will announce the early dismissal on their own websites, and via their social media channels.
  • Some schools may also choose to send an “Alert” email or text message to parents and guardians, announcing the early dismissal. 

Questions about the early dismissal pilot can be directed to school principals, CCRSB Student Transportation at 902-897-5561 or the CCRSB’s Operations Department at 902-897-8930.