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Grosse Pointe Schools Describe Decision to Stay Open in Letter to the Community

Dr. Tom Harwood shared a letter with the community to describe the process that went into deciding to open Grosse Pointe Schools Wednesday.

File photo.
File photo.
The Grosse Pointe Public School System posted the following letter on the district website about the decision to open Wednesday:

The Grosse Pointe Public School System will be open Wednesday, January 29th. It is projected that the temperature will be in in the single digits at the start of school and approaching double digits by noon. We encourage you to drive your children to school or carpool if possible. Students in the district who utilize transportation to special education programs will be contacted by our transportation provider if the bus will be delayed or unable to transport due to weather conditions. There will be no recess activities.

While it is still cold, we feel it is safe to have children return to attend classes and get back to the business of teaching and learning. Parents/guardians always have the right to keep their children at home if they do not believe they should go to school because of weather conditions. However, we ask that you call the school’s attendance line to report the reason for the absence, so we know your child is safe.
Recently we’ve been asked what factors into our decision to close. Some factors include:
  • Actual temperature and wind chill
  • Amount and type of snow 
  • When the snow falls and when snowfall is expected to end 
  • Ability to clear parking lots and sidewalks around schools 
  • Freezing rain and the effect on roads, power lines and tree limbs 
All of these factors and more are reviewed, taking into account that our local municipalities and facilities staff do an outstanding job of clearing streets, sidewalks and parking lots. The Manager of Buildings and Grounds and the Deputy Superintendent also survey road conditions by driving around the district, then consult with the Superintendent to reach a final decision. We do our best to communicate this to you in a timely manner through local radio and TV, our websites, phone fan-outs, and social media. We have also added childcare options on snow days as a service to our families.

With these predicted low temperatures that resulted in our closing of schools today, we were forewarned of this extreme cold weather in advance. With snow conditions that can fluctuate from a weather prediction the night before to the actual snow accumulation the next morning, we often have to wait until the morning to obtain actual impact to our area and the possible need to close school. In the future, we may not be able to provide notice on the evening before a predicted weather condition. As you know with weather, it can be unpredictable.

Thank you for working with us. Please stay safe and warm!

Dr. Tom Harwood

GPPSS Superintendent

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