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Snow Day Protocol

Dear Region One Families:


On October 27, 2020, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) released the memo, “Weather Related Closures as Remote Learning Days.”  The memo states that school  districts may eliminate  “snow days” by making them Distance Learning Days that will not have to be made up at the end of the school year.  The CSDE staff believe that, since we have instituted distance learning in our schools, we can continue to keep school open when the weather is bad and therefore cause less disruption to the pace of the school year by teaching and learning from home on those days. 


After much discussion with administrators, faculty and staff and review by Boards of Education, we have decided that snow days remain good experiences for members of the Region One community. They frequently provide a welcome pause to our day-to-day routine and offer the opportunity to be outdoors to play in the snow or to stay indoors and enjoy the beauty that comes with a fresh snowfall. Thus, while we may lose a day in class, there are other important life experiences that would sadly be eliminated if we were to eliminate the snow day altogether.


However, we also recognize that too many snow days can interrupt the pace of student learning and also interrupt summer plans if we have to extend the school year too far into June. Thus, in Region One, we have agreed to the following as a compromise that allows us to preserve the magic and joy of the snow day while maintaining a reasonable school year calendar for all families and staff:

  •  We will allow three full snow/weather days each year. On these days, school will be closed and distance learning will not take place. The school closure applies to all schools, even if they are in distance learning due to COVID-19 conditions. These days will be made up at the end of the school year.

  • We will consider the fourth snow/weather day and all days thereafter where snow/weather prevents travelling to school to be Distance Learning Days. These days will not have to be made up at the end of the school year.

The Superintendent will continue to announce the snow/weather days and will include information regarding whether school is closed or if the day is a Distance Learning Day.


Our ability to begin distance learning on the fourth weather-impacted day will depend on the following conditions:

  • The storm is predictable such that all students and staff can plan to have Chromebooks and the materials that they will need for teaching and learning at home. Spontaneous, unpredicted weather events may cause school to close and may prevent the transition to a distance learning day. 

  • That all towns have power to allow for students and staff to engage in distance learning.  If any of the towns in Region One do not have power, school will be closed for all staff and students on that day and it will be made up at the end of the school year.

The Superintendent will alert administrators regarding these situations so that they can inform their staff. The Superintendent will also include this information as part of the school closure announcement.


Please note that there will be no food service when school is closed due to weather conditions and/or any weather-related distance learning days.


Finally, when the severity of a weather event is such that school has to be closed for multiple consecutive days to attend to road clearing and property clean-up, distance learning may  begin on the third day of the event.  These events are usually predictable and  accompanied by advance notification by the Region One weather service. The Superintendent will collaborate with the administrative team to plan for these events and agree on a plan for distance learning, which we will communicate to all parents, students and staff.  Once again, if there is a power outage in any of the towns, distance learning will not be possible and school will remain closed until power is restored and school can reopen.


Thank you in advance for understanding that this is the first year for school districts in Connecticut and for our schools in Region One to implement this new practice. We work to ensure that the announcements are clear for each event so that all parents, staff and students understand what is occurring on each weather-impacted day. Your feedback about this process will be important, so please share your thoughts with us as we work through the winter months.


Please let me or your Principal know if you have any questions about the information that I am sharing today. We want to be sure that everyone understands the procedures for weather-impacted days this year and in the future.


Sincerely,


Lisa B. Carter

Interim Superintendent