Friday, February 22, 2008

School Closed

These mornings are never fun for a school superintendent. It seems like, if we were able to get in today, we would be okay -- with a changeover to rain. Unfortunately, it is the commute in to school that is so uncertain -- the snow is heaviest now, and the weather forecasters predict that it will continue that way for a while, with a change over to sleet/ice.

With the number of our students who walk to school and cross multiple intersections, it seems to be more prudent to simply close. Therefore -- as you see from the heading of this blog entry and back on the main page of the website -- the Woodbury Public Schools are closed today. What made the decision a bit easier was that just about every other school in the county is closing.

Interesting, I just received my telephone call that the scheduled meeting for all county superintendents at the New Jersey Department of Education County Office is on for this morning. Now, my commute in to this meeting will be the real barometer regarding the quality of this decision to close.

Enjoy the long weekend.


Anonymous said...

Probably a good call. The roads are not good.

Why are you not using the Gloucester Alert System to advise of the closing?

Joseph Jones said...

When it comes to snow, we have so many ways to get the information out that the use of Gloucester Alert seems to be one step too many.

We have the announcement on all the major television networks, Channel 13, our district website, and the school telephone system. (And – here on the blog!) It seems that we have utilized more than enough ways to get the word out so that anyone who wants to know our status has good opportunity.

All of the above methods of communication were posted between 5:07 a.m. and 5:37 a.m. I am guessing that there are a number of people who are not looking for the phone call at that hour.

Our thinking, to date, has been to use Gloucester Alert in the case of an emergency – one where people would not have such easy access to information (like we do with the snow days). But, we may change that for the future. We are considering new call systems that will allow us to get word out to ALL parents (right now, only families who register for Gloucester Alert get the message). Maybe then, a snow day will only require a call on that system.

Well . . . regardless, it is a lot better than when, as New Jersey students years ago, we only could wait for our school number to be called on the radio.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree that today’s methods are much better than those of the past. Perhaps either I misunderstood the circumstance for Gloucester Alerts use or it was not properly relayed. I am not sure. Gloucester County College, for example, uses the system for closure notification and it seems to work well. In any event I appreciate your clarification.