After announcing that schools would start Thursday with a 90-minute delay, New Canaan Superintendent of Schools David Abbey decided to hold off until after Labor Day. Below is a letter he issued to parents Wednesday evening:

Dear Parents,

I am deeply sorry to have to write this letter -- and I fully understand that I have greatly inconvenienced some, if not many of you; however, this evening, additional information has emerged, as CL&P progressed with its work that made it impossible for me to support opening school tomorrow. Simply stated, I could not compromise the safety of our students.

Our Department of Public Works and Highway Department have done excellent work. CL&P made a good-faith effort, applying considerable resources to powering up the schools and attempting to secure dangerous areas. Yet in the final analysis, despite everyone's best intentions, we did not make enough progress to justify incurring the risks associated with opening school -- and all that it entails.

If there is any good news, as of this evening, West School has power and therefore, will be available to teachers who have been eagerly waiting to make their final preparation for the new school year. Likewise, teachers and administrators in our other schools will utilize the additional time to enhance their own preparation. Our bus drivers can sharpen their knowledge of the routes. I owe my colleagues an apology for throwing them a curveball at the last hour as well. However, I know I can count on them to roll with the punches -- and use their talents and commitment as they contribute to a terrific opening.

As of now, the first day of school will be Tuesday, Sept. 6. Subsequent to this letter, within the next couple of days, the schools will be sending out specific information regarding any schedule issues impacted by this change.

Again, I apologize for this change. Going forward, I will continue to do all that I can, along with teachers, administrators and staff to provide an outstanding program for our students -- with safety always being the primary concern.

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David Abbey

Superintendent of Schools