Ovid-Elsie Area Schools
Board of Education
Monday, February 24, 2014 – 7 P.M.
Ovid-Elsie High School Community Room
Archives for February 2014
As a child growing up in the area it seems as though six-foot snowdrifts were the norm. I can remember my mother coming in to tell us that school had been cancelled and that meant a day of snowmobiling or cross country skiing for my brother and I. Even as adults we enjoy a snow day – once in a while!
Without question this has been one of the most difficult winters in the recent past. At the time of this writing, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools has been closed 13 days this school year. The extreme cold and problems caused by snow and ice have made it difficult to stay open. Please know that we have the best interests of our students in mind – academically, physically and socially. We understand that sometimes delays and closings cause inconveniences, but I can assure you that our school system is in constant contact with local officials, road commission personnel and other superintendents to make the best decision possible. In many cases, decisions are easy to make and unanimous, but in some situations decisions must be made based on the variables for a specific district. Take Ovid-Elsie Area Schools for example, we bus nearly 200 square miles and our District spans four counties. That is a lot of back roads to take into consideration!
As a District we are required to attend school 175 days and 1098 hours. However, the State does forgive up to six of those days and corresponding hours. Recently introduced legislation would allow schools the flexibility to make up those days and hours by adding at least 30 minutes on to the current school day or a combination of both adding days and minutes. Once we find out the results of this proposal we will be able to put together a revised school calendar and provide that to our school community. As your Superintendent, I want to make sure that we do not do this prematurely, as we could encounter further weather delays or closings.
The winter weather has been tough on us in many ways other than just having to close school. Pictured below you will see a bus that had an electrical fire during one of the extremely cold days that we were closed and the results from a pump that had sprung a leak. Thankfully we were not in attendance when these issues happened. Our WOES antenna was also damaged due to one of the ice storms, which greatly reduced our broadcast power.
I would be remiss if I did not thank our maintenance staff for their continued hard work to keep up with the problems this winter has caused. I would also like to extend our appreciation to our drivers and transportation department for their dedication and flexibility. Finally, it is important that we all recognize our Villages, as well as the County Road Commissions, for their tireless efforts to help keep our roads clear and safe for our buses, families and student drivers.
Again, once we have established a plan for completing the school year we will get this out to the school community. Here’s to Spring!
Dr. Ryan L. Cunningham, Superintendent
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools