A Message to Families from Superintendent David Sawyer

A Message to Families from Superintendent David Sawyer
Posted on 12/16/2016

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.

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