Below is a message sent from Superintendent Nease regarding the closure of HUUSD schools tomorrow:
Due to the extremely cold weather (-5 to -7) and wind chill (-35) expected tonight and through late tomorrow afternoon, all 7 HUUSD campuses, Brookside, Crossett Brook, Harwood, Moretown, Waitsfield, Fayston and Warren will be closed Jan 11, 2022. Central office staff will work remotely or use leave. There will be no food service.
I expect a number of school districts across the state will close based on their own individual circumstances from what I am hearing this afternoon. Many factors go into making such as decision such as:
- Frostbite can occur in 10 minutes or less.
- We are in a serious Omicron spread. With these temperatures open bus and classroom windows, recess, outdoor mask breaks and other mitigation strategies will be unavailable.
- Severe cold temps and wind chill make it even more difficult for cars to start and staff to get to work, at a time when we have no coverage to spare.
- Buses may be more apt to have difficulties or break down. Even waiting for 20 minutes for a back up bus could be dangerous. (this has happened in the past)
- Heating systems in the buildings may fail causing students to be sent home without much notice to parents, resulting in increased safety issues for them. (this has happened in the past)
From where I sit this evening, I seriously doubt we will be able to staff our buildings tomorrow with the virus spreading and while managing this extremely cold weather day. I also need to judge the overall safety risk of a day like tomorrow. I feel it is safer to make the call now, with the information I have, rather than waiting for morning. This will allow all families time to plan so everyone can remain as safe as possible. Thanks in advance for your understanding and support.