Superintendent's Corner

Superintendent's Message Archive   ·     Weather Advisory Letter

February 7, 2014

 

Dear Members of the Litchfield Community,

 

Winter weather certainly hit with a vengeance this week, and I had several tough calls to make in regard to school attendance hours. In response to questions from some parents, we have reposted to the home page of the district website our Winter Advisory Letter that explains the process for making decisions about closing school due to inclement weather. The goal in this process is twofold: to maintain the safety of our students, and to provide notification to parents as early as we can, to permit them to make plans for their family. Our commitment is not only to safely transport our students to school, we must also get them safely home.

Briefly, the decision to open late, dismiss early or close our schools is not made in isolation. Our school district is one of many in the northwest corner of the state who collaborate with a local meteorologist to receive advance notice and regular updates on disruptive weather conditions. Also, when threatening weather approaches, I work closely with the Litchfield Public Works department and receive timely and accurate updates on the condition of local roads.

Generally, when it appears that school attendance may be threatened by incoming weather on a given day, I have already received several updates from the weather service as well as updates from local media outlets. Around 3:30 in the morning I receive a text message from our Public Works Director with his assessment of current road conditions and an estimate of what we can expect by 6:00 A.M. when the buses roll out of the lot for the high school run, or by 12:00 when bus runs home begin on early dismissal days. At 4:30 A.M. I participate in a conference call with the superintendents of several area districts that is convened by our meteorologist; we receive specific information regarding current conditions and expectations for conditions throughout that day. My decision is usually finalized by 4:45 A.M. and notification to the bus company, faculty, students, parents and the community begins.

Decisions made by the school district are not intended to prevent parents from making their own decision to send a child to school or keep a child home during severe weather. Based upon a personal assessment of weather reports, road conditions, and safety factors specific to their residence, parents may make their own decision regarding their child’s school attendance during inclement weather. I urge parents to review the Winter Advisory Letter and to sign up for our Constant Contact email system through which you can receive the earliest notification of school closing information.

 

Even More about the Common Core!

The CT State Department of Education (SDE) recently released a new Common Core State Standards website, http://ctcorestandards.org . The website provides accurate information about the standards as well as supports for educators and families such as resources for all subject area teachers including professional development tools, rated and annotated units and lessons for ELA and mathematics, and student and parent-friendly materials to help all stakeholders learn more about the CCSS. A link to this new website has been posted on our district website; please contact your child’s teacher or principal if you have specific questions pertaining to the integration of the CCSS into our district curriculum.

 

LHS Developmental Assets Survey Update:

            The Board of Education will re-visit the administration of the Search Institute Profiles of Student Life; Attitudes & Behaviors Survey to Litchfield High School students in grades 7-12 during the meeting to be held on February 19.

 

I sincerely welcome interest in our school community and cordially invite you to explore the educational opportunities offered by the Litchfield Public Schools. Additional information and data pertaining to the Litchfield Public Schools are available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website at www.csde.state.ct.us.  In addition, I recommend that you bookmark our district website at www.litchfieldschools.org for up to date information about our schools and programs, including our district activities and athletic department calendars.

I can be reached at wheelerd@litchfieldschools.org. Thank you again for your ongoing support of the students and staff of the Litchfield Public Schools.

Sincerely,

Deborah S. Wheeler, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


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