SNOW DAYs/Weather Related Closures (12.15.2020 Update)

Snow Days/Weather Related Closures (12.15.2020 Update)
Posted on 12/15/2020
Snow Flakes

Dear Community,

With the forecast calling for winter weather this week, I wanted to take the time to update all on how we will handle weather closures for the 2020-2021 school year.

As I wrote in my letter on October 28, 2020, there has been much talk in our state about replacing “snow days” with remote learning. As a firm believer in the importance to childhood of the “snow day,” I also promised at least two of those days (weather permitting).

The concept of remote learning replacing snow days is nothing new and has been debated for several years. The Connecticut State Department of Education has released guidance to school districts, but there is still a multitude of issues that one cannot address in just guidance. These issues include the timing of storms, full closure vs. delays, keeping a consistent schedule for all students, the need for childcare for our younger students, allowing teachers the necessary time to prepare meaningful remote instruction, and potential during storms for power or internet outages. This year, with an ongoing international pandemic, we also have schools in both Phase 1: In-Person Learning and at the same time, other schools in Phase 3: Remote Learning.  In summary, there is not one scenario that works to thoughtfully switch a snow day for a remote day.

After speaking with school administration, along with leaders from bargaining unions, our goal is to find some consistency for our students, staff, and parents, in a year fraught with constant inconsistency and change.

Therefore, the following is our current course of action:

Guaranteed Last Day of School: This will be no later than Friday, June 18, 2021, and possibly earlier, if there are fewer closures due to weather.

If we have schools in the district that are in Phase 1 (In-Person Learning): Weather- related closure will remain as they have in the past (inclusive of delays or closure). Under the current calendar, and with a guaranteed last day of school, this will allow for up to five (5) days for closure.

If all schools in the district are in Phase 3 (Remote Learning): There will be two (2) “snow days” and the district will then follow its regular remote learning schedule.

Should we have a rough winter, and experience more than five (5) days of closure, I will update everyone accordingly on changes and next steps. You can also find regularly updated school calendars here: 2020-2021 School Calendar

Remember, when weather-related closure is necessary, we broadcast this information on the district website, via text, email, social media, and major television and radio networks.

I thank everyone for their flexibility as we work through many things during the 2020-2021 school year.

 Stay healthy. Stay strong. Keep living forward and maybe we will see a snow day this week.

Chris

 

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