• 2017 MLK Make-Up Day Procedure

    Posted by School and Community Relations on 1/3/2017

    January 3, 2017

    Parents and Students,

    As the 2016-2017 School Year Calendar was being planned for North Adams Community Schools, two “Make-Up Days” were built into the calendar. These two days are Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents’ Day.

    The two built in “Make-Up Days” are in addition to the up to 5 e-Learning Days that can be applied to the school year giving our students the opportunity to complete 7 days of school without extending the school year.

    To ensure that we make the best use of all 7 days that are available to our students, North Adams Community Schools will plan to utilize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day should school be cancelled between January 3, 2017 and January 13, 2017. Should we miss a second day during this time frame, students will use an e-Learning Day.

    Weather Cancellation Process:

    If a Cancellation Occurs:

    Between the Dates of:

    Learning Style to be Used:

    1st Cancellation

    January 3, 2017-January 13, 2017

    In-school, MLK “Make-Up” Day

    [January 16, 2017]

    2nd/3rd Cancellation

    January 3, 2017-January 13, 2017

    e-Learning

    4th+ Cancellation

    January 3, 2017-January 13, 2017

     

     

    As always, our e-Learning guidelines apply and e-Learning Days will not be applied in more than 2 consecutive days.

    At this time, Presidents’ Day is still considered a non-school day. Further information will be shared in the upcoming weeks with regards to the use of Presidents’ Day as a “Make-Up Day”, if needed.  

    Should you have any questions regarding the North Adams Community Schools weather-cancellation process, please contact your student’s building for additional information.

     

    Yours in Success,

    Brent Lehman,

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  • Delay or Cancellation Process

    Posted by School and Community Relations on 12/19/2016

    When is it too cold for school?

    This question has generated conversation the past two weeks as the temperature dipped below zero. I would like to share the process I follow in deciding if school will be delayed or canceled because of cold weather.

     

    OUR #1 PRIORITY:

    The safety of our students is priority one and that is the foundation for every weather-related decision that I make. There is much that goes into these decisions and I know there will be times we will not agree; but above all else, student safety is at the forefront of every decision.

     

    THE FACTORS:

    Following safety, it is our responsibility to make a determination for a delay or cancellation after careful consideration of what I will call “The Three T’s:” timing, temperature and transportation.

     

    TIMING:

    Timing is the first part of our delay or cancellation process. We base our decisions on a number of factors beyond just “the cold;” temperature, wind chill, snow, ice, current conditions, expected conditions (the forecast), and weather advisories/warnings all play a vital role in helping to guide our decisions.

    Decisions the Morning of School:

    When decisions are heavily weighted on “temperature,” we wait until the morning. Forecasts have been known to be inaccurate and so to avoid premature decisions, we wait until the morning for decisions to be made.

    Decisions the Night Before School:

    In the event of extreme temperatures or forecasted weather, for example temperatures expected to be -30, -40, we look to make the decision for a delay/cancellation the night before.

     

    TEMPERATURE:

    There is no fixed number when it comes making a call for a delay or cancellation. But we do use the wind chill chart that is provided by the National Weather Service to guide our decision-making.

    We consider a number of weather reports but our decisions rest most heavily on our local, Decatur, reports so that we can base our decision on the truest data for our area. While we consider information from the National Weather Service, temperatures and wind chills are reported from the National Weather Service are taken the Fort Wayne Airport where temperatures/wind chills may vary from ours here in Decatur.

    So you might be asking, “How does the wind chill chart help guide your decision?” The answer is simple. The wind chill chart shows various temperature points when exposed skin (to the elements) has greater chances of potential frostbite.

    Where the chart indicates that exposed skin has the potential for frostbite, if exposed for more than 30 minutes, we try to avoid our students enduring these wind chills and risks by utilizing a school delay or cancellation. The wind chill is generally in the -15 to -20-degree range when the risk of frostbite for skin that is exposed for more than 30 minutes is warned. 

    That shared, if the wind chill or actual temperature reaches -15 or there is a forecast that predicts temperatures will reach -15, we begin to think about the possible need for a delay.

     

    TRANSPORTATION:

    We must also ensure that uninterrupted transportation can be provided. For us, transportation is two-fold.

    Firstly, our transportation department has to determine and assure that our busses can operate under the current/potential conditions.

    Secondly, we work with other schools in our county – we have conversation with their administrators and transportation departments. Our district and county share transportation and bus students across multiple districts each day, so to ensure that transportation is not affected, typically, all three county schools will make the same decision. This is not true in every circumstance, but the general rule of thumb is: all of our schools work together to make a decision to accommodate our shared busing needs.    

    In all instances, we give our best effort to make the best decision in the timeliest manner. Generally speaking, it’s best to say: nothing is ever fixed. We want to ensure that we are making the right decision possible given the many factors we face and what our current and potential conditions may present us with. Please rest assured, however, with every decision we make, our students and staff are our number one priority, and their care and safety lead each decision.   

    Thank you for entrusting us with the safety and education of your student[s]. We are humbled and blessed by our privileges.

     

    ~ Yours in education,

    Brent Lehman

    North Adams Community Schools

     

    Below is the Wind Chill Chart, provided by the National Weather Service, that we refer to when making the important decision for school delays or cancellations.

    Wind Chill Chart  

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