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Snow Days and Technology Outage Days - 2020-21 School Year

December 10, 2020

Dear NPS Families,

With the snow last weekend, I wanted to share information on what “snow days” will look like in the district this year. Given our hybrid and distance learning models, we also need to consider a “technology outage” scenario.

Changes for 20-21 because of Distance Learning

This year, due to our hybrid and distance learning models, the state has granted permission to districts to shift to a “distance learning day” instead of cancelling in-person school due to inclement weather. This day will count as a day of school and all students will be expected to log in to classes. Teachers will notify students and families via email of their schedule for the day with all relevant login/link information. 

Please note: in the event of inclement weather, the district may still decide to cancel school instead of shifting to distance learning. You will need to carefully monitor the notification channels listed below for the plan for the day. The decision made will apply to ALL students whether they are hybrid or distance only students. 

Given our reliance on technology and access to myriad software programs, we also must plan for a “technology outage” day. A “technology outage” day would occur when technology outages or power outages affect critical systems used for learning in our current hybrid and distance models. If this were to happen, you would be notified by voice or text message and a notice will be posted on the Newton Public Schools’ website as described below for snow days. It is possible a technology or power outage could impact one school community and not the entire district.


Below are our notification procedures for either a distance-only “snow day” or a “technology outage” day. 

  • School closings or delays will be communicated via phone call, text message, email, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), NPS district website, and local television and radio stations. 

  • A “shift to distance learning” instead of cancelling or delaying in person school, will be communicated via phone call, text message, email, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), NPS district website, and local television and radio stations. 

  • To receive text messages, you must opt-in. To opt-in, please login to Aspen, navigate to the contact information section, and select “yes” for SMS messages in the drop-down box below your cell phone number. 

  • Following a storm, many of our students will continue to walk to school. We have collaborated with Newton DPW to create maps showing sidewalks that will be plowed, ensuring safe routes to school. Please access the maps here.

Because this year is so different, please be sure to carefully monitor communications when inclement weather approaches. We will clearly communicate our plan with you, which, as noted above, could include cancellation, delay, or transition to distance. For more detailed information on school operations in winter weather, please visit our webpage here:

Thanks again for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. I hope you don’t hear from me too often this winter.


David Fleishman


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