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
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.
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
Letter and to sign up for our
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,
. 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
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
LHS Developmental Assets Survey Update:
The Board of Education will
re-visit the administration of the
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.
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
In addition, I recommend that you bookmark our
district website at
for up to date information about our schools and programs,
including our district activities and athletic department
I can be
Thank you again for your ongoing support of the students and
staff of the Litchfield Public Schools.
Deborah S. Wheeler, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools