As you know by now (many of you firsthand!), there was a city-wide power outage this morning that directly impacted Neff, Holbrook, Beagle, and GLHS that resulted in early dismissal for those buildings.
As a follow up, I wanted to share a few things with you:
- The decision to close was not made lightly. Through collaboration with our operations team, building principals, technology department, food service department, Grand Ledge Police Department, and central office team, we decided to close early for the following reasons:
- Given the unknown length and timing of the outage, we could not cook meals, so we would not be able to feed students at the high school or Beagle at all, and we would have had limited choices (yogurt, fruits, veggies, etc.) at Holbrook.
- Our backup power systems for phone and internet are designed for short durations without power, so there was a very real chance we would have been without phone or internet for the majority of the day. This interrupts instruction, and creates a significant safety issue in the event of an emergency. Our back ups did last during the time kids were at school today, which is what they are meant to do. But, if we had gone much longer, that would not have been the case.
- Once the decision was made and plans were put into action, regardless of when the power came back on, there was no reversing it because students, parents, and staff needed to plan accordingly.
- We provided buses for the high school and Beagle, but not for Holbrook, for the following reasons:
- There was not enough time to do two runs in the morning before the regular afternoon runs for the other buildings.
- We did not want elementary students being dropped off at potentially empty houses, and with group stops, there is no way for drivers to know if parents are home or not.
We recognize this decision may have created hardships for some of our families today, and we apologize for any inconvenience it did caused. However, we are very appreciative of our parents, guardians, and families for working with us and helping us make the best of the situation. A special thank you goes to the district and building staffs for their all hands on deck approach, and for making the morning run as smoothly as possible, under the circumstances.
As always, please reach out with questions, concerns, or feedback. Again, thank you; #proudtobaeacomet.
Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools