As you are all well aware, the last couple of days have been unlike any we have experienced in Grand Ledge, on this scale, in a long time. Damage to property, power outages, and yard clean ups have impacted everyone around the community. I know that I spent the weekend cutting up downed limbs and fixing my fence, all while waiting for the power to come back on. However, it has been remarkable to see the progress throughout our district, with roads being cleared and lines being repaired, and the community has pulled together to get everyone heading in the right direction. I realize that not everyone has power restored and there is still a lot of cleanup that will happen in the days and weeks ahead, but the community is in much better shape than it was on Friday.
With that being said, I know there have been questions about whether or not we will start school on Wednesday as planned. We spent the weekend and today gathering information and assessing the situation to make the best decision possible. We have collaborated with other local officials as well to understand the conditions of roads and the impact on our families in order to make an informed decision.
Based on that information, at this time we are planning to stick to our regularly scheduled open houses and opening day. That means that open houses will take place in all of our buildings Tuesday evening, we will have a half day on Wednesday, and a full day on Thursday.
This decision comes from the following rationale:
- All of our buildings have power, our buildings with wells have functional water and restroom facilities, and our network and internet systems are running.
- While there are still trees and lines down in certain places around the district, the majority of our district streets, roads, and sidewalks are clear and safe for travel.
- Breakfast will be available on Wednesday and Thursday, and lunch will be available on Thursday; we know that for some students who have had extended power outages, those meals will be very important.
Today and tomorrow, our bus drivers will be driving their routes to determine if there are any obstacles to safely picking up or dropping off students, and we will communicate any of those to impacted families tomorrow afternoon. We understand that some of our families are still facing challenges, and ask that you communicate with your child’s school if your family’s current situation will prevent them from attending on Wednesday or Thursday. We also ask that all families plan ahead and are patient, because there are various new and ongoing construction projects around the community as well. Finally, please double check to make sure your child has a safe path to the bus stop, or for walkers, along the route to school.
We look forward to seeing you at open houses tomorrow evening, and we are excited for the first day of school, even though it is coming on the heels of this destructive storm. As always, we appreciate your support, and we can’t wait to see you and your students later this week. Please reach out with questions or concerns; as always, I am #proudtobeacomet!
Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools