School Closing Information
Dear Ashland Community,
Please find below the process that is undertaken when determining closings, delayed openings, and early dismissals. I have also included the websites and television channels you can tune into should the weather dictate the need.
Who Makes the Decision?
The Superintendent is responsible for making the final decision to close, delay or dismiss early. It is important to note that every decision made is done so with keeping our students, faculty, and staff's safety as the primary component. This being said, the decision to cancel, delay or dismiss, is very much a collaborative effort. When snow or poor weather is forecast, there is constant communication with Ashland’s police, fire, and public works departments, along with the APS Director of Facilities. In addition, many discussions occur with superintendents from surrounding towns. We will not always get it right (nor do the forecasters) so in any situation, if you feel your child is not going to be safe, please exercise parental discretion to keep them home.
What Will be Different in 2020-2021?
COVID-19 has certainly impacted our operations on the best weather days and will continue to wreak havoc on inclement weather days. However, due to the preparedness of our teaching staff and being in hybrid or remote learning models, the Commissioner of Education has granted local districts to utilize “remote learning days” as a way of compensating for inclement weather. This means that if we need to cancel schools due to weather we will pivot into a remote learning environment for that day, which allows us to count the day towards our required 170 days. When this happens ALL students will be expected to participate in learning as if they were in school.
When is the Decision Made?
Generally I try to make school closing or delay decisions as early as possible, however, sometimes it is best to be patient as storms do not always materialize as predicted. Thus, when the storms are unpredictable I will be sure to make decisions by 5 a.m., as school buses need to be canceled, parents need to find child care, and television channels need to be contacted. I encourage families to always have a backup plan in mind. I recognize the challenges this has on working families, as my wife and I have to find coverage when our children do not have school.
As I stated earlier, decisions will be made collaboratively and with student, faculty, and staff safety our primary concern. The decision to close, delay, or dismiss early is and will continue to be the most challenging. Please recognize that whatever decision is made, comes after much thought, deliberation, and collaboration.
How Will You be Notified?
I have listed the websites below where we post announcements regarding the weather impact. You can also find information on television stations, Channel 4, 5, 7, and Fox 25. Additionally, a recorded phone message will be sent to each family’s primary phone contact.
Here are some websites you may want to have handy:
Should you have any questions, please contact me.
Jim Adams, Superintendent of Schools