by Superintendent Mitch Wainwright
It is hard to believe, but here we are in January with little to no snow. We do live in Wisconsin, and I do not think we will escape Mother Nature. In fact, meteorologists are forecasting a likely storm system next week. Snow days are always a possibility for all school districts in Wisconsin, and Mineral Point is no different. Please know that the safety of all of our students and staff is very important.
With the winter weather season upon us, we will continue to make decisions that keep the safety of our students in mind. When the weather turns bad and creates poor road conditions, there are a large number of phone calls that get made very early in the morning. I start by speaking with Todd Schmitz, from First Student Busing, and we discuss what we know about road conditions and how road crews are doing with clearing the routes. He has connections to county and township workers and I speak with other area school district administrators and their bus companies to get as much information before making a final decision.
The number one factor for me always comes down to our own families and students. These are not always easy decisions, but when I consider the number of 16-year-olds who are driving to school in the snow/ice for the first time, I think about safety. Todd and I also talk about bus routes that have difficult road conditions, like drifting, and that factors into the decision. Safety sometimes comes in the form of a snow day.
If we have bad weather on a school day this year, we will actually have a traditional snow day. Snow days will not turn into virtual learning days unless we reach our maximum allotment and need to make up instructional hours. We have 32 inclement weather hours built into our calendar this year to use for snow days, 2 hour late starts, and early dismissals. My hope is that kids will be able to have a “normal” snow day experience here in #PointerNation!
When the decision is made, we will use our normal communication networks to get the message out as soon as possible which include: Madison television stations, Dodgeville and Platteville radio stations, our Skylert mass alert system for staff and families (phone, email, and text if enabled), Facebook, and the district website. Unfortunately, technology may not always work as planned, so please check multiple modes of communication if you suspect weather might impact school and you haven’t received an alert.
Related, please take a few moments to make sure your phone and email contact information is accurate and up to date in Skyward Family/Employee Access.
Buses will run on 2 hour late starts and early dismissals. Pointer Kids Club will not operate on inclement weather days or early dismissals. It will open at 9 am on 2 hour late starts.
We are empathetic that unexpected changes to the school schedule put a strain on families and your plans, but safety is always top of mind.