Letter to staff regarding SNOW DAYS

This letter was sent to your home email accounts on Thursday January 12th.

Dear HEA Members,

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that school will once again be closed tomorrow. This puts our snow day total for the year up to 8 with more winter to go. The “School Until July” cry has been strong on social media lately and many teachers and community members have been asking what alternatives we have. In fact, the responses to our email yesterday asking for items for our monthly District Communication agenda were solely regarding this question.

Here’s what we know for sure: One snow makeup day will be February 17 and one will be Friday, June 16. That leaves us with 6 snow days that still need to somehow be made up.

At HEA’s suggestion, the District Communications meeting scheduled for this Tuesday will focus extensively on coming up with a plan to present to our community and staff on what to do about making up for these last 6 remaining snow days.

In addition to Sandra and your District Communications team (2 HEA members from each building), we are also inviting HESP (classified staff) and administrative representation from each building to the meeting to put our heads together. Lynn Davidson, our WEA-Riverside representative, and Jace Borba, HESP’s WEA-Riverside representative, will also be in attendance. Our goal is to come up with a plan that works for all parties and take the proposal back to our respective members for approval before presenting it to the community.

Naturally, this is a unique and complicated issue that we don’t face often in our neck of the woods. State-mandated minimum attendance laws, funding issues, employee contracts, construction schedules at the middle school, graduation requirements for seniors, and many other factors (not least of which is providing a solid education to our students) contribute to the difficulty of coming up with a solution. There will be no perfect fit, and no guarantee that 100% of people will be happy with the decision. I’m sure there will be plenty of pros and cons to any solution.

We should also remember that while HEA members make up a significant portion of our district we are not everyone. Secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians, bus drivers, kitchen staff, and many more (in addition to families and community members) all have a vested interest in how a solution is determined, and for some of these folks an adjustment in the schedule could actually result in a loss of pay. Naturally HEA will advocate for our members but we will also be sensitive to the needs of others.

We’ve all been in situations in the classroom where something goes wrong. Sometimes the best thing to do is just roll with it and make the best of a tough situation. That’s the mindset I’m taking with this weather!

I hope you all have been able to enjoy these Snow Days with friends and family, and I hope that continues right into the upcoming 3-day weekend! My plan is to refine my saucer sledding technique. I’ve heard of this new new non-caloric silicon-based kitchen lubricant. It creates a surface 500 times more slippery than any cooking oil. I’m really going to fly down the hill with this stuff!

HEA

Presidents: Corey McEnry, Megan Miles Vice President: Anna-Melissa Lyons
Treasurer: Ketti West Secretary: Nancy O’Neill-Bratt
HHS Representative: Angela Redinger/Membership: Greg Saum
HMS Representative: Kim Abegglen/Membership: Jessica Ambrose
HHES Representatives: Mary Koenig/Membership: Tara Bellikka/Laurel Mate

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