Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Let it Snow

This "snow event" concept is becoming less of a novelty around these parts. These last two winters have been very active.

We have been fortunate this winter to have missed the last couple snow days in that we were not in session -- holiday/weekends. At least, as superintendent, I consider that fortunate.

For this year, we will be doing things a bit differently:

1. Our staff will be notified about a snow day using our new Global Connect calling system. That means we have abandoned the old "snow chain" calling tree. Everyone should be getting his/her telephone call instantaneously as soon as the initial call is placed.

2. We will be using that same Global Connect system to call out to our families to inform them of the snow day. This is a new capability for us this year as a result of the upgraded phone calling program. Our schools have been using Global Connect to get messages about programs, etc. out to the homes in certain circumstances already; this snow call will work the same way -- except that it will be a very early telephone call!

3. As a back-up to all of the above, we will still be posting any closing information on the district website and on the local television stations (ABC, NBC, and CBS). Each of those television stations also maintains a website with school closing information.

That should cover us. I believe that I have reported in this blog in the past how the Gloucester County school superintendents participate in a conference call on mornings where weather is a concern. This call takes place at 4:45 a.m. I also will use information that I receive from connecting with the local police and our district's facilities coordinator (responsible for snow removal!) to help assess the situation.

Finally, any snow day that causes us to miss school this 2010-11 school year will be made up at the end of the Spring Break. The first day that we miss will mean the Friday of Spring Break becomes a school day, the second day means that the Thursday of Spring Break becomes a school day, etc. This is pattern is true for the first four days of snow. Let's hope that we do not have more than four snow days this year!

In actuality, I typically do not make a call about having school until the morning of the weather event because the meteorologists have proven in the past that they can be very wrong with their forecasts. So, I will be watching -- like many of you -- and keeping an eye on this forecast as the day unfolds.

There are a number of school related events that may be impacted by the weather today and tomorrow in addition to the regular school program. You will find updates on that information -- sports, Family Nights, etc. -- posted on the front page of district's website as these decisions are finalized.

I think that's it! I guess you can see why it is enjoyable for me to watch it snow on a Sunday morning or a day over a long winter break.

No comments: