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A Message from the Superintendent - re: Use of Snow Days

Dear BSCSD Parents and Caregivers:  

Based on some of the comments on social media and questions that I have received from some of you, I wanted to take a moment to clarify a couple of points regarding snow days and, at the risk of getting a bit detailed, offer a bit of background as to our decision-making processes this year.  

  1. The Remote Learning Option– Each year our calendar is built on the basis of meeting the 180 school day requirement set by the state. To ensure that we can accomplish this, we also build in snow days and structure our conference days such that we do not risk the loss of any required instructional days. As we are one of a number of districts in the state that do not have the typical number of snow days to give this year due to changing schedules, hours, and the use of conference days in preparation for hybrid learning, we have to find thoughtful ways to achieve the 180 day requirement. This is where the state gave us the option of the “Remote Learning Snow Day Pilot” as one point of flexibility in this regard. Should we fall below the 180 days and we are unable to make them up through the use of any remaining vacation days, we risk losing $106,349 for each such day. What does this actually mean? It means that we do not get the revenue that we built our budget on and therefore have to make adjustments for monies lost accordingly. 

    With this as background, calling a traditional snow day requires a great deal more thought and calculation than in previous years. This is why I emphasized in recent Updates that we “may” use this remote option for snow days this year as we work to balance our responsibilities in our instructional and financial management of the District while also being thoughtful about just how different (and tiring!) this year is for everyone involved – parents, students, staff, and administrators. 
  1. Forecast for the next 24 hours- Meteorology as we know is hardly an exact science. However, as the forecast is now solidifying around heavy/heavy-ish snow with the potential for high wind gusts, there is the possibility that we will have power outages associated with the storm. Adding to this the fact that that everyone is just plain tired, if in fact we have to call a snow day tomorrow, it will be a traditional snow daySchools will be closed for all learning both in-person and remote. No other assignments will be required (other than to read a good book, of course!). To the extent possible, we will make this decision tonight so as to allow child care arrangements to be made for families who do not have flexible work schedules. 

I hope this information is helpful. 

Ken Slentz

Superintendent of Schools

 

12.16.20