Closing School Due to Inclement Weather
Difficult decisions were made last week regarding closing school due to the poor weather and travel conditions. Deciding not to have school is a significant decision as it impacts our students, staff, and those throughout our communities. When considering closure, delay, or an early dismissal due to inclement weather, our first priority is the safety of all involved and impacted. While forecasting the weather is not an exact science and the meteorologist is not always right, we make our decisions based on the best information we have available at the time. Last week, the second day of no school on Wednesday, February 3, was a challenging decision. I prefer not to cancel school once we have already notified families and staff that school will be delayed. However, road conditions had not improved in the morning as we had hoped, and we did not feel confident that travel conditions were safe for all. Thank you to our families and to the staff for taking the necessary precautions in order to stay safe.
Make-up Days Scheduled
Due to the cancellation of school on February 2 & 3, school will be in session for students on Tuesday, February 16, and Thursday, March 24. Both dates have been identified on the 2015-16 School Year Calendar as make-up days in the event school is cancelled due to inclement weather.
Students and staff are busier than ever in our classrooms as well with many activities. I hope you are able to take full advantage of attending the many school events and activities taking place. You will find more information about our activity schedule on our school district website.
Thank you to those who completed the survey. The information will be very helpful to the strategic planning process. There will be a presentation on the survey results at the February 16 School Board Meeting. We will also be sharing information on our school district website in the future as well as through various newsletters and other communications to students, parents, staff, and members of our communities.
As I have previously shared with you, the School Board is leading the school community in the development of a revised strategic plan that will provide us with a roadmap designed to guide us in our journey in reaching our “destination” or vision as a school district. Along with this vision, the plan will clearly identify and confirm our purpose or mission, and affirm what core beliefs and values we believe in, live by, and expect from all of us. The plan will identify specific goals and priorities believed to be most important to our school community, along with specific action steps to take in order to meet our established goals.
Opportunities for you to participate in the process started with completion of the community survey. You also have another opportunity on Thursday, February 18, when community listening sessions will be held in the evening starting at 6:30 p.m. Two meetings will be held, one in the Media Center at the Secondary School in New Richland, and the other meeting will be held in the Media Center at the Elementary School in Ellendale. Our consultants from the Minnesota School Board Association and the South Central Services Cooperative will lead the listening sessions.
The School Board is also in the process of inviting members of our school community to be part of an advisory committee that will assist the School Board in analyzing the input from the survey and listening sessions in order to develop our strategic plan. This will be another way that community members, students, parents, and staff members are involved in the planning process.
The School Board conducts its regular monthly meeting on the third Monday of each month. The location of the meeting is rotated monthly between the NRHEG Secondary School Media Center in New Richland and the NRHEG Elementary School Media Center in Ellendale. The February 16, 2016, School Board meeting will be in New Richland. The School Board is meeting on a Tuesday in February due to the School District’s observance of President’s Day on February 15.
I look forward to seeing you at the February 18 community listening sessions. Thank you for your continued support and for the difference you make in the lives of our students!