It’s difficult to believe that we have already completed one-third of the 2018-19 school year. The first trimester ends on November 30, and report cards will be coming home soon. Looking back at the school calendar for the last three months, it is apparent that much has already happened this year with fall sports and the marching band season wrapping up, the fall musical Tarzan completing a successful three-day run, and elementary principals spending the night on the roof of the school or getting dunked in a water tank countless times all for fun and in support our students. Many other notable events are displayed in the pages of this edition of the Our Schools News. I hope that your family had a great start to the school year!
I would like to thank our families for the trust shown to us every day to take care of and educate their children. Their trust is not taken lightly. Our goal at Allegan Public Schools is to support our students in any way that we can, in order to provide an opportunity for their greatest success. It takes many individuals with a variety of skills and talents to support our students and our mission.
The last time I checked, Allegan Public Schools was the third largest employer in town, after Perrigo and Allegan County. Including our teachers, administrators, secretaries, central office staff, instructional assistants, media/library coordinators, noon hour supervisors, food service staff, maintenance and custodial staff, transportation staff, coaches, and several other support staff, we have over 350 employees. So in addition to thanking all of our families for sharing their children with us, I also want to thank our entire staff for working diligently every day to help OUR kids succeed!
Snow Day Information
I am writing this on our first snow day of the year, one of the few occasions when superintendents are actually fairly popular individuals. I thought I would use this opportunity to shed some light on what determines whether or not there is a snow day. Obviously, student and staff safety is always the focus. If it is determined that it is unsafe to be traveling on the roads, we call a snow day. However, we live in West Michigan so traveling on snow-covered roads is a necessity. If we called a snow day every time there was snowfall, we would be transitioning to year-round school without intending to.
Icy or extremely slippery roads, as well as drifting of snow, are determining factors. Visibility, as well as the forecast for additional snowfall, is also considered. We drive the roads, watch the forecast, and communicate with surrounding school districts, all in an attempt to make the right call. Our school district is 156 square miles. Often the amount of snowfall and, subsequently, the road conditions are quite different from one side of the district to the other. So don’t be too surprised if we have a snow day when there is only an inch or two of snow on your driveway. Only a few miles away there could be ten inches of snow with drifting of several feet. Parents: Please be aware that if you do not believe it is safe to be on the roads, you may keep your children home and the absence is excused. Simply contact your building office to let them know.
I am frequently asked how many snow days are we allowed before we have to make up the days at the end of the year. The answer is six. The state allows up to six cancellation days for weather conditions, a broken boiler, or any other unforeseen event not controlled by the district. I know that many of us enjoy a snow day, but let’s hope that 2018-19 is not one of the years we are adding on school days in June.
Happy Holidays and best wishes for a blessed New Year everyone!