Director’s letter about inclement weather and potential school closures

Director’s letter about inclement weather and potential school closures
Posted on 11/23/2020

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Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:

The school year is progressing quickly. Overall, the return to school has been a positive experience and very successful for students, staff and families of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB).

This is the time of year when we think about the looming inclement weather, potential bus cancellations and the effect on learning. I want to provide some important updates for students, families and employees.

As you have heard me say over and over since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus at HPEDSB is on keeping students, families and employees safe. That continues to be our commitment now and into the future.

From past experience, we know that bus cancellations due to inclement weather are unpredictable, affecting some communities and not others. District-wide cancellations are rare, although they have happened a few times in recent years.

As a father with a son in high school, I want you to know that I am aware of concerns about learning loss when students cannot be transported to school or when schools are closed. I also want to reassure you that our focus is on keeping students engaged in learning, while at the same time keeping students and staff safe, and in their cohorts, as much as we are able.

When buses are cancelled due to inclement weather, schools remain open. That is our normal practice and it will continue. As always, the decision to send children to school when buses are cancelled rests with families and we respect your choice.

When schools are closed due to inclement weather, power, flooding, other facility-related issues or safety issues, students should follow their teacher’s direction for accessing learning from home.

When the decision to close schools is made, we will communicate as soon as possible through HPEDSB social media (@HPEschools), the local media (radio and online) and through our busing partner, Tri-Board Student Transportation Services.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our schools. I ask for your patience and belief that we make the best decisions possible under incredibly trying circumstances.

I wish you all well, and ask you collectively to remain positive, kind and resilient.

Sean Monteith