As we look ahead to the next few months of potentially inclement weather, I have a few organizational items to share with you regarding school delays and closures.
First, please be reminded that we consider four options when facing questionable weather conditions:
- School to be held as scheduled
- School to be delayed by two hours
- School to be cancelled for the day and made up at the end of the academic year
- School to be held remotely
In an attempt to follow the approved school calendar as closely as possible, we may delay the start to the school day if it appears road conditions will improve as daylight arrives. Buses will run two hours later than normal and schools will each run an abbreviated schedule, with lunch being served and the school day ending at the regular time.
This option will be used on the first two days for which travel throughout the day is not advisable. All school day activities will be cancelled. One instructional day will be added to the end of the school year to make up for each storm day. Decisions regarding after-school activities at the High School will be made by 12:00 p.m., as road conditions often change throughout the day.
Remote Learning Day
After two snow days are expended, this option will be used on days when travel is not advisable and power and internet services are not significantly impacted. This will provide for continuity of instruction and minimize the likelihood of the school year extending beyond mid-June.
To reiterate this point: The first two days on which travelling is expected to be dangerous throughout the day, we will close schools and call the traditional snow day. Once we have used two snow days, the remaining storm days will be remote learning days unless power outages prohibit such a decision. This will allow students to enjoy a couple of snow days during the winter months, without prolonging the school year too far into June.
On remote learning days, students will access the remote schedule provided by the school. The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) has issued guidance to schools selecting this option, which we must follow in order for the day to be considered countable toward the State’s minimum of 175 student days.
Receiving lunch on remote learning days
One requirement imposed by the MDOE is that school lunch must be made available to students each day. School breakfast and lunch meals will be available for pick-up prior to the storm through our online order form. These meals are available at no cost for students enrolled in the Yarmouth Schools. To sign up to receive the online order form, or if you have any questions about remote meals, please contact Blair Currier, Director of School Nutrition, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 846-2323.
If school is to be delayed, held remotely, or closed, notifications are made by 6:00 a.m. as follows:
- Through our mobile app (download to your phone following these instructions)
- On the Yarmouth School Department website (www.yarmouthschools.org)
- On our district Twitter feed: @YarmouthSchools
- Via email to all parent/guardian addresses in our PowerSchool database
- On various local television and radio stations
The first three methods listed provide the earliest notification, but they also rely on the technology to be working. To ensure you receive proper notice in the event of power failures or technology malfunctions, please check a couple of sources if you are searching for a school closing on a questionable morning.
These are not always easy calls to make due to the timing and unpredictable effect of some storms. We will make every attempt to hold school as scheduled as our facilities and transportation employees work diligently to provide a safe commute for students. Still, there may be days when you disagree with the decision that is made. If school is in session on a day when you question your child’s safety, please use your own best judgment when deciding whether or not to send your child to school.
Here’s to a beautiful Maine winter.
Andrew Dolloff, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools