Why Does MCSD Keep Schools Open As Much as Possible?
Our job of educating students is important. But like any public service, families rely on schools as a fixture of stability and safety. Here are the key reasons we stay open when it might not seem necessary or apparent:
- Large numbers of our students rely on our school breakfast and lunch program. These meals are not simply a convenience; they provide a stable source of nutrition that is skipped when schools are closed.
- A significant number of students in the district will remain home alone without supervision during a closure. Many families are unable to adjust work schedules on short notice.
- In addition to classroom instruction, a functioning and fully-staffed school building provide warmth and safety.
Weather Issues (Including Snow Days)
Murray City School District will remain open if at all possible on all scheduled school days, even when weather conditions appear to be especially challenging. However, families are encouraged to make attendance decisions for their student(s) based on their unique circumstances and specific ability to get to school SAFELY.
The impact of weather conditions is not always universally the same across the district. for example, roads are not all plowed at the same time, nor are accumulations the same from one side of the district to the other. As such, we rely on the prudent decision making of parents and will honor decisions to remain at home. Likewise, parents are welcome to pick up students at school any time they feel that transportation or other conditions present a safety concern.
How MCSD Decides Scheduling Changes
District administrators monitoring weather and other conditions continuously (weekends, overnight, and early-morning hours, as necessary). Additionally, they communicate with the National Weather Service experts, the Department of Transportation, Murray City, and the Murray Board of Education prior to making any decisions.
As information is assembled, reviewed, and discussed collectively, the Murray Board of Education makes a final determination. This triggers a tree of information sharing among district and school officials until all personnel, students, and their families are notified as early as possible and in multiple ways.
How and When Will Digital Home Learning be Used if Schools are Closed?
As we have had lots of experience conducting digital home learning through the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel this has prepared our educators and students for interruptions in school schedules. To this end, if we anticipate closing school due to weather or other conditions we will do our best to anticipate this one school day ahead of time so that students and teachers can prepare.
Preparation for a digital home learning day will include bringing home devices and materials that will allow students to continue learning from home. If there is a digital home learning day expected, school schedules will be delayed two hours that day. additional days and their schedules will be determined and we invite families to watch for school and district announcements.
What About Activities and Programs Beyond Classes?
When there is a full closure of schools for one day, the following will be in effect. additional days will be subject to plans created and announced sometime during the first day:
- All Field Trips Cancelled
- All School Lunch and Breakfast Cancelled
- Pre-school, AM and PM Kindergarten Cancelled
- All-day kindergarten will move to remote learning and start two hours later
- Extra-curricular activities and outside building rentals will be TBD (watch for school announcements)
Parents are encouraged to create an emergency plan for their students determining where to go or what to do if a parent is not home and schools are closed, delayed, or dismissed early. In the event of an early release, elementary and middle school students will be held at school until parents or guardians are notified and arrangements are made to keep the students safe.
When there is any Emergency School Closure Protocol underway within the MCSD, please watch for updates from this website (home page), ParentSquare, or our Facebook page to learn the status of after-school scheduled activities.
Air Quality Concerns
MCSD is sensitive to issues of air quality safety. We follow specific guidelines from the Utah Department of Health and the Department of Air Quality. Click here to review those guidelines (Recess Guidance for Schools).
Currently, the above-linked guidelines indicate that when the PM (Particulate Matter) goes above the 55.4 mark or 150 AQI (Air Quality Index) levels, all students will remain indoors for recess. Schools and the District Office monitor these conditions.
If parents request their student stay in because of respiratory or other health issues, or if they have a doctor’s note, school officials will make the necessary adjustments to make this happen and/or communicate with families regarding their unique circumstances.