December 7, 2022
As we head into the colder winter months, I thought this was a good time to share some general information with you about our policies and procedures for closing school, calling for a delay or possible early closing. The following are some quick answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Who makes the decision?
As the Superintendent it is my responsibility to make the decision about whether or not it is safe to open the schools in the case of inclement weather. I take this responsibility seriously and base the decision on a variety of sources of information. Many factors are considered in making the decision including road conditions, snow accumulations, temperature and icing, parking lot and sidewalk conditions and weather predictions.
How are decisions made?
To begin with, like you, I follow current local forecasts to get the most up-to-date weather predictions. As we all know from experience, the weather in New England is not always predictable and forecasts sometimes are incorrect. At the same time, I have to rely on the predictions of the local experts to make the most informed decision possible.
In addition to monitoring forecasts, I also consult with a variety of individuals throughout the course of the night. I am in constant communication with the Norfolk DPW, who provides me with up-to-date information regarding road and driving conditions. In addition, I consult with area superintendents including Wrentham, Plainville and King Phillip. When necessary, the police department and fire department are consulted as well.
What time are decisions made?
In order to call for a school cancellation or delay, a decision must be made by 5:45 a.m. This allows us time to notify news stations and send out a ConnectEd message to families prior to parents leaving for work and staff starting their journey into school. After this time, it is difficult to delay school, as we cannot be assured that all families will get the message in time, and there is a safety concern about students waiting outside for buses that are not coming or students who are being dropped off at school when there is no supervision available.
How are families notified?
In the case of a school cancellation, delay or possible early release, all families will be notified via our ConnectEd system. Early release calls are very rare and are typically only made when families are notified in advance. We would not send students home early at this age without ensuring that a parent or family member was informed and home to meet them. Delayed openings are announced through ConnectEd and through the local radio and TV stations listed below. In the case of a one hour delay, parents can expect bus pick up times to run one hour later than usual. The school day will begin one hour later- although lunches and other specials will run at their regularly scheduled times.
Where can you find information about school cancellations or delays?
● WBZ Storm Center - TV 4 and News Radio 1030
● WBUR Radio Boston
● WCVB - TV 5
● WFXT - Fox 25
● WRKO Storm Force - TV 7
● Norfolk Cable Channel NCTV
In addition to getting the information on The BostonChannel.com, and individual network stations, you can also register directly with these individual sites to receive alerts on your preferred electronic device.
Please note that as a parent you always have the right to keep your child home from school if you are concerned about the weather or road conditions. While it is my responsibility to make the best decision I can on behalf of the schools and our community, I respect parents’ individual right to make a different decision if they feel it is in the best interest of their child.
Dr. Ingrid Allardi
Strategic Plan Survey
The Norfolk Public School District is in the beginning stages of developing a new long-range strategic plan. This strategic plan will establish goals for the Norfolk Public Schools including all of our educational programs and services for the period starting in June 2023 and ending in June 2028. As an important part of the process we are actively seeking feedback and input from parents, students, staff and other community members. In the spring we gathered feedback from Norfolk families and school staff about school culture and climate. This survey is designed to look at other broad educational priorities and needs. Your thoughts and insights from both surveys will help to shape the strategic planning process and support us in focusing on the greatest concerns of Norfolk residents and school community members.
If you have not already submitted a survey we strongly encourage you to complete the following brief survey by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022.
MTSS, NEST and Student Support Services
In case you missed this information in the last issue of Wednesday's Words:
MTSS, NEST and Student Support Services:
How is MTSS and NEST process supporting my child? MTSS stands for Multi-Tiered System of Supports. It is not a program but a “way of doing things” so that every child receives “what they need” in order to reach their goals. MTSS is a systematic approach that addresses conditions for creating a successful and sustainable learning environment that is proactive in addressing students’ learning needs. MTSS is based on a 3 tier system.
Special Education is specially designed instruction or a related service (like speech, OT, PT) to meet the unique needs of a child who has been identified with a disability which impacts their ability to make progress in school.
If you are considering giving a gift to your child’s teacher over the next few weeks, it is important to be aware that teachers, as public employees, are subject to the Conflict of Interest Law. The general guidelines of this law prohibit teachers from accepting a gift worth over $50.00 from any individual student. Teachers are able to accept a class gift of up to $150.00 or several smaller gifts over the course of the year totaling no more than $150.00 for the year, as long as the gift is given from the class as a whole and no individual students' names are attached.
Teachers are not allowed to accept any individual gifts from students who contributed to the class gift. Teachers are also allowed to accept gifts intended to be used in the classroom (i.e. books, supplies) without being in violation of the law.
Please remember, you have already given us the gift of sharing your children with us throughout the school year! I am providing this information strictly to help room parents or others plan and to prevent any uncomfortable situations from arising.
Norfolk PTO News & Events
PTO Meeting TONIGHT, Wednesday, December 7th at 7:30pm via Zoom. Please join us!
Meeting ID:825 6796 7280
We are in search of a Co-Chair to join the PTO's Executive Board! In this position you will work with the current co-chair to supervise, direct and coordinate the work of the PTO. You will work directly with principals and teacher representatives at both schools to maintain a supportive relationship between the schools and the PTO. This is a two-year term. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or interest.
Upcoming PTO Meeting Dates:
- December 7th at 7:30pm, via Zoom
- January 11th at 7:30pm, FK Cafeteria
- February 1st at 7:30pm, Location TBD
- March 1st at 7:30pm, FK Cafeteria
- April 5th at 7:30pm, Location TBD
- May 3rd at 7:30pm, FK Cafeteria
- June 7th at 7:30pm, Location TBD
Checking holiday cards off your list this week?
Don’t forget about Norfolk PTO Minted Fundraiser!
Just visit www.minted.com and purchase personalized holiday cards or photo gifts by using the promo code FUNDRAISENORFOLK and receive 20% off your order. 15% of all proceeds will be donated back to the Norfolk PTO to support our schools. Order now through December 31, 2022. It’s an easy way to give back and get holiday cards and personalized gifts at the same time. We appreciate your support this upcoming holiday season!