One of the decisions that faces a superintendent each year is the decision whether to cancel school for the day, call a “Two-Hour Late Start” to school, dismiss school early, or not call off school during inclement weather or other situations. The decision involves consideration of multiple issues, but, in the final analysis, it all comes down to a subjective (albeit, informed) judgment call.
When a decision is made we will send out a notification on the district app if you have that option activiated. We will also send out a district-wide phone call. Calls or app alerts will go out prior to 10 p.m. the night before or after 5:15 a.m. the day of a no-school or late-start day. We hope these times will serve to inform you while accommodating your schedules. This will be in addition to television, radio, website, Facebook, and Twitter announcements. If you do not receive an app notification or call, we do encourage you to check the other options. We cannot guarantee your phone service lets the notification through, so having a back-up notification is always a good option.
In the event of school being dismissed early, the call/app notification will go out as soon as the decision has been made so that you have as much time to plan as possible. As is the case with a No School Day, it is, of course, the parents/guardians’ responsibility to make the necessary arrangements for this change of schedule. This responsibility is the same for a late-start day.
If a late-start decision is made, all buses will run two hours later than their normal Monday-Thursday schedule regardless of the day, and school will begin two hours later than the normal Tuesday-Friday start time. For example, the high school would start at 9:30 for a two-hour late start, even if the late start was on a Monday.
If you as a parent feel it is unsafe to have your child(ren) attend school, please know that decision continues to be yours…one the school district will respect. However, all absences will be recorded. Only verified weather-related absences (areas where our bus routes have been canceled) will be treated as “excused.” This decision (excused/unexcused) will be made by the building principal alone.
In an attempt to provide a service to those who wish to drop off their child(ren) at school on their way to work in the morning of a late-start day, the building principal will have someone near the front door to welcome your child(ren) to school beginning at 7:30 a.m. (grades 5-12) and 8:30 a.m. (grades PreK-4).
Hopefully those students taking the bus will continue to do so, especially since it is one of the safest ways of traveling during bad weather. We are also asking parents who typically take their child(ren) to school to continue to do so, just two hours later than normal.
The bottom-line purpose of a Two-Hour Late Start is to allow the early morning weather conditions and daylight to improve, thus making travel safer for those we serve.
Questions? Please contact your principal or myself. We will be more than happy to discuss this letter with you. Thank you.
Stephen Kleinsmith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Nixa Public Schools