As we head into another winter
season, it is worth acknowledging that few educational matters inspire as much
spirited debate as the decision whether or not to cancel school whenever it
snows. Although I believe no one disagrees that the safety of our 6,000
students and 800 employees can never be compromised, not everyone agrees where
to draw such a line. Many of our families truly find the implications of a
cancellation, or even a delay, quite challenging. When it seems that school
could have occurred, frustration is understandable. While there is no sound way
to ensure a perfect outcome that will be respected by everyone, clear
guidelines from the district should assist families in anticipating what is
likely. In Attleboro, you can expect the following:
1. All emergency closings will be made
in accordance with School Committee Policy EBCD. Prior to a cancellation, input
from the Facilities Manager, relevant city departments, and area
Superintendents all contribute to the final decision.
2. Whenever appropriate, delays will be
utilized to provide both families and school personnel more time, which
improves the safety of any conditions.
3. Decisions will be made in a timely
fashion to provide families the greatest notice possible.
4. When conditions are perceived to be
unsafe, school will be cancelled. Always. However, as even normal conditions
always include a certain level of risk; safe cannot be defined as being
entirely free from risk.
5. Families can and should always decide
for themselves what is best for their students. Principals have the discretion
to excuse up to three absences per trimester under School Committee Policy JE.