Tustumena Elementary Newsletter

October 21, 2017

I'm at school today, so thought I would send out our cold weather information.

Happy Saturday!!

Just thought I would send out a newsletter with timely information. Below you will see:

  • Weather Related Delays and Closures information
  • Fall Carnival Information
  • Pumpkin Carving Contest information
  • Coming events for the rest of the month

Rummage Sale Going On Today 9-3pm

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Carving Contest

Tustumena will host its annual Pumpkin Carving Contest on October 31th. The pumpkins may be brought to school Tuesday morning and then they will need to be taken home in the afternoon. There will be prizes for the primary aged children and for the intermediate grades.

Coming Events


10/20-11/4- Book Fair

21- Community Rummage Sale 9-3pm

24- Picture Retake Day

25- Early Release (school is out at 2:05)

26-27- Parent/Teacher conferences

27- Carnival- 6pm-9pm

31- Halloween- Trunk or Treat, 6pm-8pm

KPBSD School Weather Related Delays and Closures

Announcing a school closure or two-hour delay start in a timely manner for our students, families, and staff is important to KPBSD administration. Timing of the decision is crucial so we can notify transportation before busses begin their routes, employees head to work, and students and families prepare for a school day, potentially waiting at bus-stops. The decision to close school for the day or institute a two-hour delay start is the responsibility of the Superintendent of Schools.

KPBSD is committed to school safety, and educating every student. An involved process takes place early in the morning before the decision is made to close, or delay the start of school by two-hours. Additionally, if a school make-up day is necessary, several factors contribute to determine the date for one or more make-up days of school.

If school remains open, and you as a parent or guardian do not believe it is safe for your child to travel to school based on conditions in your area, please use your best judgment to decide what is safest for your family. Please notify the school if your child will not attend; absences will be excused.

How things work
Determine and Communicate school closure or two hour delay start

Communication to Public

KPBSD district office communications will post two-hour school delays or closures, and subsequent updates, usually starting by 5:30 AM. If nothing is announced, assume schools are open on a normal schedule.

· KPBSD Mobile App push notification (Kenai Peninsula Borough SD)

· Facebook: Kenai Peninsula Borough School District @KPBSD (usually by 5:30 AM)

· Twitter: @KPBSD

· KPBSD website home page: www.KPBSD.org

· Local media including: radio stations, television stations, newspaper online sites

Decision Making Process

1. Assistant Superintendent gathers information, beginning as soon as accurate information is available. Most of the time this begins very early in the morning. If a significant storm is expected, a decision might be made the night ahead of time, but this rarely happens. Consultation and assessment includes:

· District transportation staff

· Apple Bus Company

· Alaska State Department of Transportation (DOT)

· Alaska State Troopers (AST)

· Central Emergency Services (CES)

· Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

· Homer Electric Association (HEA) and utility providers

· Weather services

· Onsite school district employees

2. The Assistant Superintendent contacts the Superintendent to give an update about specific conditions and offer a recommendation for a two-hour delay start* or school closure. (Delay starts are always two hours.)

3. The Superintendent of Schools makes a final decision to delay start by two hours, or close schools.

4. School principals are contacted with the decision and supporting information*

· Principal contacts school staff

· School may implement automated call system, social media post, or other type of contact message to parents if applicable

*KPBSD may be briefed with information that helps to determine that a two-hour delay start will result in school being in session for the day. At other times, the two-hour delay allows time to assess the evolving conditions, before making the decision to close school for the day. If the roads are impassable due to inclement weather, a two-hour delay will give road crews additional time for sanding and plowing. Updates are posted as soon as decisions are made.

How-to calculate a two-hour delay start time

· Add two hours to normal school start time.

· Add two hours to normal bus pick-up time. Thus, students are picked-up two hours later than their normal scheduled bus pick-up time.

· KPBSD employees arrive two hours later than normal work-day morning schedule.

· Schools will dismiss at the normal time unless announced otherwise.

Make-up Instruction Days

If school is closed for the day, by state law, a make-up day must be scheduled. KPBSD does not build additional days into the annual calendar for potential inclement weather or school closures that may or may not occur.

· A make-up day is generally scheduled on a vacation day, or after the official school calendar ends in May. One day is built into the calendar—typically the third Friday in the last quarter—and is often used as the first option for a make-up day.

· Factors to consider when a make-up day is scheduled for one or more schools in KPBSD:

· Coordinated bus transportation

· Student nutrition services breakfast and lunch programs

· Staffing

A few School facts in Alaska

State law mandates a school term of 180 days with up to ten of these days used for teacher in-service.

· Per state law, all students must attend school for the minimum of 170 student contact days.

· KPBSD teaching contract is 188 days (also includes orientation days and 7 mandated holidays.) Teacher in-service days are part of Professional Development and required by contract. Flexible work days are most often utilized at the front end of the school year (August) in preparation for the school year.

Closing school for the day or instituting a two-hour delay start is a complex decision, with several factors involved. Every effort is made to keep school in session.

If school remains open, and you as a parent or guardian do not believe it is safe for your child to travel to school based on conditions in your area, please use your best judgment to determine what is safest for your child and family. Please notify the school if your child will not attend; absences will be excused.