Sample Leeter for Work Delay by fhy40545


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									December 1, 2009

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The winter season will soon be upon us. Our district staff understands that our decision
to open or close schools in bad weather has a big effect on families. We also understand
that our students are better served, both academically and socially, by being in school.
However, our top priority is the safety of our students.

Many times conditions improve within a couple of hours. With this in mind, Amherst
Schools will be instituting a two-hour delay option. We are implementing the delay
option due to the State’s move to reduce calamity days from five to three next year. With
this option, school will begin two hours later than the normal start times. This allows
time for work crews or the weather to improve without counting as a calamity day on the
school calendar.

During a two-hour delay, buses will run two hours later than normal.

PLEASE NOTE: If a two-hour delay is announced, morning kindergarten and
morning preschool classes will be canceled. Afternoon kindergarten and afternoon
preschool will run a normal schedule at the normal times.

When there is a possibility of bad weather or an electrical outage, please pay close
attention to the radio and TV announcements to check whether Amherst is closed or on a
two-hour delay.

Sometimes a two-hour delay may be announced, but because conditions have not
improved as expected, the schools may close. Be sure to check back with the radio, TV,
or Internet for updates throughout the morning.

Please be advised that if the Amherst Schools are announced as closed, that is a final
decision and will not be changed.

How do we make our decision?
We make the decision to close or delay school in bad weather based on a careful analysis
of all relevant factors, including:

   •   Information on road conditions from transportation staff and other local officials.
       We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the District.

       Although one street looks clear, travel elsewhere in the district may be dangerous.
       Also, we must consider that some high school students drive to school.
   •   Amount of snow and ice accumulation.
   •   Lack of electricity/heat in buildings.

   •   Temperature and wind chill. Some of our students walk to school, and some must
       wait outside for the bus.
   •   Weather predictions. We prefer to make our decision on factors other than
       weather predictions, which are not always accurate, but sometimes this is
   •   Decision of neighboring districts. We also share information with other local
       districts and check whether they are opening or closing.

Who makes the decision?
As superintendent of schools, I am responsible for the final decision, based on the above

How is the public notified?
Tune to WEOL-AM 930, WOBL-AM 1320, and Television News Channels 3, 5, or 8; as
well as the Internet sites,,,, for the TV stations for up-to-date information on school
closings and the Amherst Schools Website,

When is the decision made?
The decision must be made by approximately 6:00 AM or earlier so we can notify radio,
TV stations, and staff.

Can the decision to stay open be reversed?
Keep in mind, even if weather conditions worsen, we cannot reverse our decision in the
morning without endangering students. Once we make the decision to open the schools,
many parents rely on our decision and leave for work. If we then send students right
back home, many will return to unsupervised bus stops and empty houses. If conditions
get worse during the school day, we may need to have an early dismissal. Each building
has a process in place to deal with early dismissal scenarios.

Although we do our absolute best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision
exists. If you feel that it is unsafe for your child to attend school, use your best judgment
on whether he or she should attend.

We hope this explanation helps everyone understand the process our staff uses to make
the best possible decision for everyone in our District.

Thank you and best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season.

Steven A. Sayers

December 1, 2009


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