MPS Closing Due to Weather Conditions

Dear MPS Families:

Regrettably, our voice and texting systems do not allow for extended messages.  As a result, the message sent this morning, I am told, left off critical information.  Here was the intended message:

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Greetings: An unexpected change in weather conditions in neighboring communities has resulted in our inability to sufficiently staff our schools.  Therefore, Montclair schools will close today – Friday, November 16, 2018. For any parents with critical childcare needs, please email Dr. Johnson directly as the District will make accommodations due to this late change.

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The great township of Montclair was ready this morning.  Our streets were plowed and sidewalks cleared.  The unfortunate reality is other townships and cities had not plowed this morning because many school districts elected to close yesterday.  Here are a few districts that elected to close yesterday:  Livingston, West Orange, Bloomfield, Caldwell, etc.   Here are a few districts that elected to close early this morning:  Orange, South Orange, Verona, Roseland, Essex Falls, Newark, etc.  Accordingly, several staff could not legitimately get into work because other townships and city officials knew they had time to plow the streets.  We had double digit staff absences reported in multiple schools.  Accordingly, I did not want to add more stress to an already stressful situation.  Please note I was one of the last districts at 8AM to call a school closing.  While I did not want to use one of our three snow days today, our staff members’ and the students’ safety are of the utmost importance.   I did not want staff struggling to get in nor did I want staff who were able to get in attempt to manage excessively large groups of students.  We will start creating a plan of action when the exact situation occurs again (and it will).  Let’s gear up together for an intense winter.

On a more upbeat note, please ensure you show up tomorrow, Saturday, November 17, 2018, at 1pm to the Aubrey Lewis Sports Complex - Woodman Field, for our MHS Football Team’s sectional championship game against Ridgewood.  Please show up ready to bleed blue.  Our MHS Football Team needs us to cheer, scream and show up in massive numbers.  We are claiming a victory - MetLife Bound!!!!! Be there or be square!  Enjoy your day and weekend!

In pursuit of excellence, equity, social justice and access,
Kendra V. Johnson, J.D., Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Montclair Public Schools
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