As we stand between the seasons of Thankfulness and of Giving during what has been one of the most challenging of years in many of our lives, I believe it is the sense of hope that guides us on. I am thankful for the gifts of time and resources given to our students, our staff and this district. It’s those acts of kindness and commitment, small and large, that move us forward in spite of obstacles and challenges. Thank you!

I believe I have pushed my limits on laying out the plan for how we will address virtual snow days this year. The weatherman is saying I have maybe another week before the potential of moisture increases significantly….only time will tell.

The board approved the use of virtual instruction to make up days designated as snow days for the 2020-2021 school year. Determining how to recommend handling them was one of my greater personal struggles of the year. (Don’t laugh, please!) The views of how best to handle them were many and regardless of the manner selected it would be viewed as wrong by some…but that wasn’t so unlike many decisions we have had to make.

The drivers to recommending the use of virtual days in lieu of traditional snow days for 2020-2021 were based in the following:
The belief that in this year more than any other I have worked through, students, staff and families need to know that the days already built into the school calendar will not be disappearing. Winter break, spring break and any other day that is planned off will stay off.
The fact that we have already added 3 days to our current calendar and will now end school on June 3rd. Snow days will move us into the following week of June 7th. The further we push into June, the harder it is to keep students focused in a typical year; this year it will likely be even more challenging and The knowledge that we need to have a strong summer school program available to close gaps in learning that we are seeing in some students due to the disruptions and challenges of the pandemic. For this programming to be most beneficial, students and staff will need time both before and after that programming to re-energize for that learning and the learning of 2021-2022.

In another life, I was (un)fortunate to be in a leadership role in a district that was the last school in the state to complete its required days. We ended on June 12th if I remember correctly. As a normal year, that was a huge mental and emotional challenge to work everyone through. I am not sure I can even appreciate how that would look and feel had it happened this year with everything else we are dealing with.

Administratively we have talked up, over, under and around how to best address the if’s of these days and in the end, as with so many landed in this seat. I hope you can appreciate the consideration of how to move us through this time. It was not made lightly……who knows maybe we won’t have any snow days and all of the fretting will be for not.

Please see below in the newsletter the plan for how we will address bad weather days this year..

I wish you the best and safest of holidays as we move into 2021. Thank you for all you do for West Burlington Independent Schools.

Lisa Beames