Superintendent Update On Weather Days

Dr. Shultz Explains Impact on BPS
Posted on 01/24/2024
Update from the Superintendent, Dr. Carl Shultz

January 24, 2024

Dear Bedford Parents, Staff, and Community:

The recent weather patterns across the state and region have been something different to say the least. While Michiganders should always expect vastly different weather week to week, there are few times that I can remember experiencing -20 degree windchills, accumulating snowfall, freezing rain and sleet and dangerously dense fog all in the same week. Unfortunately, this extreme weather also happened to hit at one of the worst times affecting our secondary level semester exams. The good news is that it appears the next few weeks seem to be looking better (except for tomorrow morning’s potential fog), meaning that we can get back into the routine of successfully educating our students.

I truly appreciate the support and kind messages that I have received this past week. I also understand and appreciate the messages with concerns and questions. Each fall, I send out a weather-focused superintendent letter to all families. In this letter, I discuss the process that we use to make our decisions and outline the various options that are available to the district when dangerous weather occurs. Each weather event is unique and affects different communities in a multitude of ways. The bottom line is that the top priority is the safety of our students, staff, and community during each event.

Over the previous five years, BPS has used an average of 5 emergency weather days per year. The cancellation this morning is our 5th day this current year. This is concerning to me, since the Michigan Department of Education only provides 6 emergency cancellation days each school year. If the district utilizes more than our allotted 6 emergency days, we do have several options. These options below are listed in order of preferred planned action.

• The district can appeal for additional days.
• The district can transition any future-needed emergency days beyond the 6 granted from a traditional learning to a virtual learning day.
• The district could elect to simply add extra school days (beyond the granted 6 days) on to the end of scheduled school year.

This last option impacts everyone the most and is the least preferred. As such, we will do everything in our ability to not utilize the option. If needed, I will update the community on our future needs and plans when available and appropriate.

This is a lot of information and I hope that we are not forced to follow through on any of the listed options. I do expect some additional weather-related issues, but we are hopefully through what is going to be the worst for this year. I will never make a decision that places our community in danger for the sake of saving a scheduled day. Instead, I will prefer to exercise the options available to the district as the need arises. I am sure that a vast majority of our families and staff would agree with this statement as there is no individual school day worth the life of any member of our school community.

Thank you for all your support and for trusting me with your most important people.

Carl Shultz, PhD

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