Shoreline Unified Regular Board Meeting
February 16th 2017
8:30AM @Tomales High
A Message from Superintendent Bob Raines
Well, it has certainly been a wet start to the New Year, and that has had a big impact on our teachers, students, and their families.
I imagine that many of our residents might have gotten a bit tired of hearing my voice on those pre-recorded phone messages, announcing that school would not be open due to severe weather conditions. Believe me, I was getting tired of making them.
I have recieved a few questions from families about the process that we use to determine if it is safe to open school and transport students. I thought that it might be helpful to share that information with everyone.
When we are aware of severe weather forecasts, we begin monitoring a number of weather and road condition sources. Among them, we communicate with the Marin County Emergency Operations Center, and the Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center. We also communicate with the California Highway Patrol, and the Marin and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Departments. Additionally, we consult a number of on-line resources, including Weather Underground and the West Marin Feed on Facebook. We also rely on eye-witness information from employees and school families. As a matter of fact, our Director of Transportation, George Borges, and our bus drivers are prime sources of information.
We are most concerned with road flooding, though we also take the wind conditions into consideration. Our school buses, like all large vehicles, are top heavy, so they are greatly affected by high winds. If we determine that conditions are not safe, and that we do not have a way to circumvent the hazard, we make the call to cancel school for the day. There have been situations when conditions change during the day, sometimes forcing us cancel school and to send the children home early. Most recently, for example, we received a phone call from the Marin Emergency Operations Center, notifying us that they had updated the time that a storm was expected to come on land. That caused us to decide to send our children home ahead of the storm.
Ultimately, I am the person who is responsible to make the decision about keeping school open or closing for the day. I want you to know that I don’t take that responsibility lightly, and, as a parent I understand the hardship that creates in homes. I want you to know, as well, that I am ultimately concerned with the safety of all of our students and staff.
So far this year, we have lost three days of instruction to the winter storms. Our Board of Trustees will consider our options regarding waiving those days or scheduling make ups. We will keep the public informed of their decision.
Please feel free to email me, if you have any questions or thoughts. You can call our office, as well, at 707-878-2266.