In this letter, I hope to clarify our procedures when weather conditions such as snow, ice, and/or extreme cold force us to delay or cancel school. I also want to highlight several changes from our normal practice.
In the event of inclement weather, the district may decide on several options. The first option is a ONE-HOUR DELAY, where doors open at 8:30 a.m. and school begins at 9:00 a.m. The second option is a TWO-HOUR DELAY, where doors open at 9:30 a.m. and school begins at 10:00 a.m. We will now serve breakfast to students on delay schedules. Students should begin arriving 30 minutes prior to the start of school to ensure they have enough time to eat and get to class. Also, when a delay is announced, please be aware that conditions may cause a change from a delay to a closing. The third option is to CLOSE school for the day.
If weather conditions allow, I will make every effort to decide the night before, allowing parents enough time to make necessary arrangements. I will try to make the call no later than 10:00 p.m. in those instances. When weather conditions become an issue in the early morning, I will make every effort to make a delay or closing decision no later than 6:00 a.m.
When school is delayed or closed, I will announce it on the district website www.locklandschools.org, Twitter @locklandschools, local television stations which place the announcement on their websites, and of course, our Community Safe phone message system. If you haven’t received phone calls this winter and you would like your family added to the system, please call my Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Mert Fritsch, at 513-563-5000 ext. 100 to have your phone number(s) added to the list.
Further, we are changing our Wednesday Early Release plan. Due to the minimum school day requirements by the Ohio Department of Education, we are not permitted to have a two-hour delay and still have an Early Release on Wednesday. So, effective January 29, 2014, if I decide on a two-hour delay due to inclement weather, I will cancel our Early Release and students will be dismissed at regular time, 3:00 p.m. Again, this is only in the event of a two-hour delay on a Wednesday for our district.
Finally, the Ohio Department of Education allows each district five Calamity Days for the school year. Additionally, districts are allowed to create a Plan for Calamity Days Makeup By Online Lessons (AKA Blizzard Bags), for an additional three Calamity Days. Our Board of Education passed a resolution adopting our plan on Friday, January 24th. Since our district has used the five allotted days, we now have three additional days. Blizzard Bags work as follows: teachers will create a lesson for each subject the student is scheduled. On a day where school is out and we use a Blizzard Bag day, the student will go to our website and retrieve the assignment. The assignment is due two weeks after the calamity day. Failure to complete the assignment will result in the student being marked with an unexcused absence for that particular day. If students are unable to access the website, they may receive a paper copy of the assignment when they return to school and have two weeks to complete the assignment. The staff will begin working on the assignments this week and we will have clear instructions on our website on how to retrieve the work.
I hope the information provided in this letter better explains our Calamity Day process and helps you plan for these unfortunate but necessary precautions. If you have any questions about the information presented or have ideas to make the process easier on students and families, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My direct line is 513-563-5000 ext. 103 and my email is email@example.com.
Yours in education,
Matt M. Bishop, Ph.D.
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