As I write this on Sunday evening, the temperature has dropped, the wind has picked up and it is has gone very suddenly from fall to winter. That prompted me to write to you about the District’s efforts in keeping students and staff safe as we head into another Montana winter.
This week, all families will be receiving a letter from me regarding cold weather protections. They will be in the elementary Wednesday Envelopes and mailed to middle and high school homes. A shorter version has been posted on the website and can be found here: http://bit.ly/10J8mAg. It is posted in three places on the webpage with this one being on the Student Safety page under the Parents & Student tab. Please take a moment to look over this link as well as the parent letter. Your principal or supervisor can email it to you.
The content of the letter and web posting was vetted by a task force that met last spring. As far as I can tell, the District has never provided formal information before. The task force members told us that parents need communication as to what to expect. I think it serves that purpose. I feel badly that it is coming out during a winter event instead of before. Mother Nature obviously didn’t consult me and therefore ruined my timing. Please pass on the link as you can before they come out this week. There is also a message posted on the front page of the webpage. It is the same one I put up last December.
There are no hard and fast rules as to when or if the regular school schedule is disrupted due to weather. Please know that I am committed to student and employee safety and I will make decisions based on the common good. I will also base my decision on my belief that having students in warm, safe and supervised schools is usually the best course of action. I also believe that school buses are very safe for children. They are heavy, well maintained and driven by well-trained and qualified individuals. It is also important to note that the closure of school is a serious decision and one that is rarely made.
Hopefully you were able to find your snowboots, hats, mittens and winter coat before you headed out the door this morning. Admittedly, I grumbled a bit as I dug mine out of the closet. As we get through this cold snap and prepare for the several more to come, I will try to be thankful that I live in this beautiful place that has four beautiful seasons. I will also remember to be prepared and be safe. Please do the same!
Take care. Stay safe. Be well.