Message from Steve Kramer - February 27, 2014

Schools and Libraries

February 27, 2014

From: Madeira City Schools

I want to provide you with an update on our calamity day makeup plans. As of the date of this letter, inclement weather has caused Madeira Schools to use seven (7) calamity days. Ohio law allows schools five (5) calamity days, thus leaving us two (2) days to makeup. We were able to makeup one (1) of those days on February 14 (a day originally scheduled for teacher professional development), so at this point, we still have one additional day to makeup. Currently the Ohio House and Senate are considering legislation that may increase the number of calamity days permitted. However, regardless of their decision, we think it is important to make up this second day.

Recently, the Madeira Board of Education took action to enact the use of Online Makeup or "Blizzard Bag" Days. Ohio law permits schools to use up to three (3) such days as a means to address calamity days. On an Online Makeup Day, students will go online to access assignments provided by their teachers. (See Makeup Day FAQ). Therefore, to makeup the second calamity day, we have decided to declare March 24 (the first day of spring break) as a school day. However, we will use our Online Makeup Day procedures, meaning students will not come to school March 24, but will instead be assigned work that they will be required to complete.

Additionally, in the event of any future calamity day(s), we will also use our Online Makeup Day procedures and teachers will provide online work for students to complete to help them stay on pace with daily classroom learning.

I know school delays and/or closings impact not only our students' learning, but parent schedules as well. Your patience and support are much appreciated as we deal with the snow and unseasonably cold temperatures. While it cannot substitute for students actually being in school, online assignments will hopefully help us make it through the remaining winter months. Let's hope that spring is right around the corner!

If you have any questions, please contact your child's principal.

Steve Kramer

Superintendent

Madeira City Schools

Online Makeup FAQ

How do "Blizzard Bags" work?

When school is closed for the day, assignments for students will be posted on teacher web pages. Every core subject teacher will post lessons/assignments. Middle school and high school students are already familiar with going online to retrieve and complete assignments. However, younger students may need parent assistance in retrieving the assignments. Parents can assist by following these steps:

MES - K-4

-- Parents will be emailed the online assignments by the child's classroom teacher and/or the assignments will be posted on the teacher's website.

MMS - 5-8

-- Students and parents can log onto teacher websites to access online assignments.

MHS - 9-12

-- Students and parents can log onto teacher websites to access online assignments.

Staff will he checking email several times during regular school hours to answer questions related to the assignments.

What is the timeline for completing "Blizzard Bag" assignments?

Each student will have two weeks from the date of a school closing to complete "Blizzard Bag" assignments. Assignments will be graded in the same manner as other classroom assignments. Assignments not completed within two weeks after school was closed for the day will receive an incomplete or failing grade, unless otherwise determined by the teacher.

What if I do not have access to a computer at home?

Students who do not have access to a computer at home must complete "Blizzard Bag" assignments within two weeks after school reopens. Assignments will be provided in hard copy and, if possible, made available to students in advance of a forecasted winter storm. Teachers will also provide access to school computers before, during, or after school hour for lessons to be completed. Assignments will be graded in the same manner as other classroom assignments. Assignments not completed within two weeks after school reopens will receive an incomplete or failing grade, unless otherwise determined by the teacher.

What if my child requires special accommodations?

Every attempt will be made to communicate and modify assignments as needed for special education students. Special education teachers will be communicating with teachers as well as assisting in modifying assignments for students on an individual basis. In some instances, email communication will also come from the support teacher.

When should I look for "Blizzard Bags" assignments?

"Blizzard Bags" assignments will be posted on teacher web pages by 10 a.m. on the day school is closed. A reminder to complete "Blizzard Bags" assignments will be issued with the

school closing announcement that will be posted on the district's website - www.madeiracityschools.org.