I am really looking forward to having the students back in school tomorrow, even if it is for just a couple of days before we are off on February Break! Taking a glass half full outlook, I hope you have been able to take advantage of the snow days to spend quality time with your children. Much like we have fond family memories of digging out from the Blizzard of ’78, this will surely be a winter they will remember and tell tales about later in life.
I know many of you are wondering how we are going to make up all the lost time. As of today we have used six snow days. We are fortunate to be a district that begins the school year before Labor Day, thus providing plenty of time in June for make-up days. Since we build the calendar to include five additional days for school cancellations, the addition of a sixth day puts our last day of school at June 22nd. We will plan to use the remainder of that week for any additional snow days we may incur. Both Saturday sessions and the elimination of April vacation were discussed, but, at this time, using the June days provides the greatest amount of planning time for all involved. All of the scenarios present challenges to families who have prescheduled activities and commitments. If you find yourself in that situation, please reach out to your principal to discuss your specific situation. We are aware we will have families in this position.
The MERSD Facilities Team and the Essex and Manchester DPWs have been doing an outstanding job battling the elements to prepare our roads and walkways for safe travel. Despite their tremendous efforts, the volume of snow that has fallen in such a short time has resulted in road and walkway conditions that require a great deal of caution. I expect that tomorrow morning’s drop-off will undoubtedly be slow. Principals are using a flexible start approach to the day and will not mark students tardy. I encourage you to remind their students to refrain from climbing on and jumping off of snow banks and to use extra caution when navigating sidewalks and snow banks, which might require them walking in the street.
Thank you for your patience and support as we make our way through this unprecedented New England winter.