CL Hawk Update

February 4, 2019

School Calendar & Bus GPS System

Central Lee Parents, Staff, and Community,

As many of you know the weather this past month has been problematic with lots of snowfall, ice, and frigid temperatures. I wanted to take an opportunity in this update to discuss our plan for making up school days and alert you to a new service available for families who use school transportation


Calendar & Weather Related Issues

Currently, the Central Lee School District is on an hour based calendar for 2018-2019. Code of Iowa requires school districts to attend class for 1,080 hours per year. Our current calendar has 1,115.5 hours built into the full year. We have over 35.5 hours over the state requirement. A full day of school is 6.5 hours for our buildings. Therefore, we could make the case we do not need to make up any days but we still have to factor in unscheduled early releases/late starts. We also believe that time in the classroom is important regardless of which month it falls. Here is our plan for the rest of the school year:

February 18 is currently scheduled as a non-school day. We will plan to make this day a school day for students.

April 22 & 23 were previously scheduled as teacher in-service days. We have worked with our PD provider to change our scheduled PD to another time in June. This will allow us to make these two days a school day for students. If your family had scheduled plans for any of the above days, please contact your building principal. We will attempt to be as flexible as possible for our families.

We will not make up the remaining two days allowing all students to be done with the 2018-2019 school year on May 31 and still ensure the school is meeting compliance. Any remaining cancellation days will be handled on a case by case basis.

District officials did discuss at length whether to make up days during our scheduled Spring Break. We elected to not make days up during this week as we had numerous staff with scheduled trips and we were not confident we could secure enough substitutes for that week. We are considering building snow days into Spring Break in the future to help with a year such as this.

In summary, we will plan on having a school day on February 18, April 22, and April 23 this year. Students final day will be on May 31.

We do feel fortunate to only have five days to make up. Several school districts throughout the state have 8-9 days with a few being in the double digits. Normally, our district has 1-2 days of cancellations so this year's weather has been abnormal.

I do want to give a big thank you to Chris Gray, Neil Weirather, Brad Weber, Jeremy Tweedy, and our entire bus/van driver team! The past two weeks have brought significant weather challenges which have created work on weekends, early mornings, and late nights. Whether they are plowing snow, getting buses to start in frigid weather, or ensuring kids are safe coming and going from school, the work these individuals do does not go unnoticed! Thank you!

Thank you for your patience in allowing us to work through this issue. There was not a solution that was going to be 100% right for 100% of the people. We feel like this solution was the best fit going forward for our students and staff.

Lastly, while warmer temperatures are here, they have brought on rapid snowmelt throughout our district. This has caused many of our gravel roads to be in poor condition. We will use emergency routes if necessary this week and will make a decision on a day by day basis. Our drivers, mechanic, and transportation director all will be providing input on what is safest for our students. We desperately want to return to normal routes and we will do so once gravel road conditions improve.

Unite GPS Crosswalk App

We have a wonderful and long-anticipated announcement for all bus riders. Starting Friday, February 8, you can track the bus your student rides on your mobile device or computer.

On Thursday, February 7, you will receive an email from UniteGPS that will include account activation instructions. The email will come from . The email includes a link that allows you to set-up an account and password. This service is by invitation only and is not available through the App Store or Google Play.

This is what you can expect from this new service:

1. UniteGPS is available for any device using a web browser

2. It provides real-time GPS mapping for Central Lee bus routes

3. You can see exactly where the bus is along the route

4. Data is updated every five seconds – so you will know the exact location of every stop and the time of arrival

In the email from UniteGPS will also include a link to a brief account tutorial, which will help you set-up the solution on your mobile device. Please take time to review the video since it covers important information. We suggest using Chrome, Safari of Firefox for best results across devices.

If you do not receive the email please check your spam folder. Anyone who did not receive the email with the login link may get a new link using the lost password function at UniteGPS.

If you have any issues, please contact the school district at your earliest convenience.

Central Lee CSD

Our priority is to create a culture where all students are expected to achieve a better tomorrow!