Dear Rockford Parents and Staff,
As of today, we have canceled seven days of school for travel or weather-related conditions. The State of Michigan forgives the first six days, which means we have exceeded the allotted days by one.
The State allows us to request an additional three days of forgiven time which we are in the process of doing. Assuming these are approved, one will be used for today, leaving us with two days for the rest of the school year.
With the dangerous temperatures forecast this week and the fact that it is only January, we will likely have to use both of these days. Therefore, we need to look at how we will meet the State’s days and hours requirements. It is critical to mention here that regardless of how many days we do or do not have left, I will always make decisions based on the safety of students, staff, and the community.
If we need to add days or hours to the school year, our options include having school on Friday, May 24 (the Friday before Memorial Day), which is designated as a snow make-up day. We may also need to add hours or days to the end of the school year in June.
Again, I cannot stress enough, that I will continue to make decisions based on safety. Please remember that if at any time you feel it is unsafe to send your children to school, you may call in an excused absence.
Michael S. Shibler, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
|The decision to close or delay school…
Several factors are considered when making the decision to close or delay the school day. Please keep in mind that the Rockford Public School District covers approximately 97 square miles, so the weather and road conditions can be significantly different from one area to the next. On any given day, we transport 5,000 to 6,000 of our 8,000 students. We do our best to make reasonable and practical decisions based on forecasts, which are sometimes accurate and sometimes not. Here are a few of the steps used determine whether to close or delay school:
·We monitor wind chill, wind speed, temperature and precipitation amounts.
·We close school when the wind chill is a sustained -20F or colder.
·We consult with the county road commission on the road conditions and plowing schedules.
·District officials monitor weather reports and talk to neighboring districts.
·Finally, district officials and staff physically drive out to several areas multiple times throughout the evening, night and morning to check road conditions.