Dear Sherwood Families and Staff,
With this winter season causing an unprecedented number of closures and delays for our District (at least in recent years), it is important to me to take a moment to share with you what we know so far about how we will address making up days this school year.
Trust me when I say, since December’s weather closures, our District leaders have engaged regularly in lengthy discussions about how best to serve students’ needs for instructional time, while also honoring staff contracts, and creating the least inconvenience for the community. We recognize that many families have plans for summer break that begin in June, so we will share as much as we can with you as decisions are made so that any impacts can be addressed as early as possible.
As a District, there are a number of complex considerations when it comes to making up inclement weather days. Every school level has different instructional minute requirements, and we need to balance the number of schools days within each trimester in order to provide enough days for delivery of content and conducting assessments. Our approved 2016-17 District Calendar already included four more instructional days than the state requires. Still, to comply with instructional time requirements, we will need to make up some days.
There are many possible solutions that we are considering — none of them perfect, such as:
Whatever our decision becomes, the District is required to get Board approval to amend our calendar for 2016-17. Before this week’s snow storm – and before the three closures that have since occurred – our strategy was to propose to the Board of Directors at the January 11th Board meeting, that we use Presidents’ Day as a make-up day. Doing so would have provided enough minutes to avoid adding days in June. However, with the closures this week, additional make-up days are now required.
The District is now creating a proposal for the Board’s consideration at next week’s Board meeting on January 18 (rescheduled from January 11). With their own children in Sherwood Schools, our Board members share your concerns as parents and will advocate for the best way to resolve making up days that will take everyone’s needs into consideration, including students, their families, and staff.
On behalf of our District staff, administration, and Board of Directors, we are grateful for your support and patience as we thoughtfully address this unique challenge. As always, we will communicate with you as soon as possible any decisions made regarding making up inclement weather days.
In the meantime, I hope you and your families are staying safe and warm.
All the best,