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January 2020 Newsletter

We thought last year was an anomaly, ha. Global cooling strikes again! Well, with the distractions of snow during January, the set back to our semester end, and just getting back into the swing of doing school, we are sending out a combined January/February newsletter this month. February isn't a real month anyway, too short, oh wait, we get to celebrate those of you born on February 29th this year! Happy every now and then birthday for leap babies!

I would like to take the opportunity presented by the inclement weather to explain school closures, which can often be the frustrating for all of us. The determination of whether or not to hold school starts with district staff making middle of the night trips to assess roads, discussions about the conditions, looking at forecasts, and hoping (that you make the right decision). All the gathered information goes into the district's decision to either initiate a late arrival or a school closure. The concerns are varied and some of the things that are considered include: the ability of buses to drive safely on icy and snow packed roads, are buses able to turnaround in tight areas and not be blocked or endangered by downed trees or power lines, will we be able to plow parking lots and clear walkways before school starts, will students who walk to school be able to walk in the conditions, and of course we can't forget that power outages affecting the school or substantial areas of our community must be considered. Sometimes, we need to not only consider the current conditions, but also look into the districts crystal ball to see what the weather will be when school is let out. We must believe it will be safe not only coming to school but returning home.

As a HS principal I always worry when you combine ice, snow, two lane roadways and inexperienced drivers. We have right around three hundred students that drive to campus daily, many of whom have very little experience, if any, on icy roads. On Thursday, our late arrival day, I noticed many parents driving their students to school and it looked like there was a lot of carpooling going on, as parents brought not only their own kids, but helped others out also. I personally really appreciate this gesture and the sharing of rides. We will always recommend you drive your inexperienced driver to school and/or utilize district transportation on bad weather days.

We know that whatever decision is made at the district level, whether to have or not have school, someone will not agree. Please know that the most important consideration is the safety of students and staff. I personally would like to thank all the RSD district office, maintenance and custodial staff that are driving roads in the middle of the night, plowing at the crack of dawn, shoveling walks, making getting to school safe, and just making that tough call of what to do when the weather doesn't cooperate.

Finally, I hope our students enjoyed the snow days. Let's face it, most of us have a great memory of sledding, skiing, snowball fights or just building a snowman with friends on a snow day when we were in school!

Just a reminder that next week is a full week of school. Monday through Wednesday will be 6 period days, Thursday and Friday will be special block days for final exams. The schedule was sent out under a separate constant contact and is on our website.

Ray LaBate, Principal


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