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Will January 2nd be a Snow Day?

To be discussed at the 12/6/2022 School Board Meeting

To: Londonderry School Board
From: Dan Black
Date: December 1st, 2022
Re: January 2nd, 2023, on the current School Calendar

When the Calendar for 2022-23 was approved, not enough due diligence was done to look at the effects of the Calendar on our different collective bargaining contracts. This year, January 1st, a federal holiday falls on a Sunday. When that happens, for our support staff union, custodians, and bus drivers, their contract allows them to celebrate that holiday on a Monday. Unfortunately, we have scheduled school for that day. When you combine the problem of trying to run school without support staff, custodians, bus drivers, and staff with children that live in another town who have that day off from school, these problems together make opening school on January 2nd an impossibility.

We are sorry that this has happened.

The leadership team explored a few potential solutions, and we are hoping to gain approval of one of them from the School Board tonight so that we can set it in motion with the community and staff tomorrow.

Change and Update the Calendar

• We looked at having School on December 23rd and then not having school on January 2nd. The
problem with this solution is timing. Since we are only a few weeks away this will most likely
disrupt plans already made by both staff and families.

• Another option we looked at was shifting the whole calendar back by a day, and not having school
on January 2nd. The problem this creates right now is then the last day for students would be June
16th (not a problem), but with the new federal holiday on June 19th, the final scheduled day for staff
would be June 20th. So, we would close school on a Friday, have a three-day weekend, then ask
professional staff to come back for one more day on a Tuesday before Summer Break. We do not
have a lot of enthusiasm or support for this plan from staff.

With an hours-based calendar, we could use one of our built-in snow days.

Our calendar builds in time for at least 5 snow days to occur. If we use one, planned for January 2nd and
close school for that day now, we still have four to use. We have had a mild start to November and
December. If we do have more than four snow days in this scenario, the last day for staff would again occur after June 19th.

However, in prior very snowy years, the district has taken different and creative measures to extend the
school days in April and May to make up the time if needed. So, for example if we did need to make up
one day, we could run school longer by 20 minutes each day over a couple of weeks to make up that time
if needed.

The Administration’s Recommendation

Looking at these three options, the easiest to implement would be to call a planned snow day on January
2nd at this point in time with this problem in front of us only a few weeks away. If we do have a snowy
winter ahead of us after January 2nd, we do have tools to adapt to making up time if needed down the road. We do believe we would have strong support for this plan with staff and families above the other two options.

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Updated: December 2, 2022 — 7:22 PM
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