Marietta superintendent explains what’s going on with weather days

Credit: Marietta City Schools

Credit: Marietta City Schools

Marietta’s superintendent took some time out of this snowy day to address some concerns.

Grant Rivera posted a note on Facebook that was a question-and-answer with himself about how students will make up days lost to weather.

Hours later, Marietta City Schools announced it would cancel Thursday's classes.

READWith 1.5 inches of snow in Cobb, crews dump hundreds of tons of salt

Between the snow and tropical storms this year, Thursday  will make the sixth day of school missed due to inclement weather.

He started his memo with this note: “In an effort to over-communicate with you, I wanted to take a moment to respond to some reasonable (and predictable) questions.”

Everything below is a direct quote from Rivera’s post Wednesday.

READHow much snow fell in your metro Atlanta neighborhood?

How many days are we allowed to miss before we are required to make up days?

We have four discretionary days; however, the MCS charter contract does not require that we make up the days if we go beyond four days of school closure.

Am I going to recommend to the MCS Board of Education that we add additional days or extend the school day?

Here is where it gets complicated…please allow me to be extremely transparent with you about my thinking:

I will be the first to argue that instructional time is important – every minute that your child is with our educators is valuable. I never take lightly the decision to close school or the implications of lost instructional time.

I will also acknowledge just as quickly — I don’t like the idea of taking days from mid-winter break (February 20-23). I know that many of our families and staff have already made plans during this time, and I anticipate a high degree of absenteeism if we have school on one or more days during the mid-winter break.

READ Cobb school closings: How is the decision made?

I must also say ... I have reservations about extending the school day by several minutes each day for the remainder of the school year just to document on paper that we made up for the inclement weather days. Our MCS families and staff have organized their work and family schedules around specific start and end times to our school day, and I want to be sensitive to the disruption we could create just to “check the box.”

I also will acknowledge ... we have four discretionary days. Today is our fifth day. I may feel differently about options to make up instructional time if we have more inclement weather days between now and our mid-winter break.

READHere are the 7 snowiest days in the history of Cobb County

So what does all this mean?

I want you to know I understand the magnitude of the decision and commit to making a thoughtful recommendation to our MCS Board of Education if and when I feel it is appropriate. This will be based on a variety of factors, including whether we have additional school closures in the coming days or weeks. I do promise, as I’ve attempted to do through this email, to over-communicate with you to the greatest degree possible so we can avoid surprises for you and your family.

MOREKeep up with our running coverage of the weather here and watch WSB's broadcast here

And what about school tomorrow? (Again, this was posted before the closure.)

Too early to tell. But, as we have done in the past, we will send you an update if/when we get more clarity from the National Weather Service. If there are any concerns whatsoever, you can expect our normal evening update no later than 9 p.m. tonight.

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