It's the time of year in Maine to expect snow storms and other types of inclement weather events. In advance of the changes in the weather, Superintendent Ryan Scallon presented the Portland Public Schools' snow day plans for the 2023-2024 school year to the Board of Public Education meeting at its Nov. 14 meeting. Here are the details:
In cases of inclement weather, the Portland Public Schools will use up to three traditional snow days. Our schools will be closed on those days and students will not be expected to go to school in person or learn remotely. No school meals will be provided on snow days. Those days would be made up in June. This would mean that the last possible day of school for students would be Monday June 17th, and the last possible day for teachers would be Tuesday June 18th.
If there are more than three days of inclement weather, we will have remote learning days in lieu of a snow day. On remote learning days, students will stay home and will be expected to complete academic assignments. Remote learning days will not need to be made up at the end of the year. If an inclement weather remote day is called, the district will make school meals available for families to pick up (see below).
Remote Learning Expectations
● Elementary (grades PK-5)–Students will be provided with hard copy materials to be completed at home and returned to school the next day.
● Secondary (grades 6-12)--Students follow their regular class schedule with a synchronous class session each period. Each class will have a synchronous component and classwork that is posted to google classroom.
Students whose families do not have internet access at home and have stable housing are encouraged to apply for the Affordability Connectivity Program. The minimal amount of hotspots we are procuring are reserved for students who are living at a shelter or have unstable housing and will prioritize students in grades 6-12.
● Elementary: Attendance will be taken for students who return/complete their packet.
● Secondary: Attendance is taken at the start of each synchronous class session.
*Student absences will be excused on any remote learning day.
Food Service Plans for Remote Learning Days
Meals available for pick up at eight school locations, typically from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m:
● Lincoln Middle Schools - Leland Street, back parking lot delivery door
● King Middle School – Front door, drive-up service available
● Lyman Moore Middle School – Front door, drive-up service available
● Peaks Island Elementary School
● Portland High School – Delivery door next to garage on Chestnut Street side
● Presumpscot Elementary School – Front door, drive up service available
● Reiche Community School – Current building entrance on Clark Street side
● Talbot Community School – Front door, drive-up service available Families may pick up meals at any location most convenient to them.
Final decisions regarding snow days and remote learning days will be communicated by School Messenger and through various media outlets no later than 5 a.m. The information will also be on the district’s homepage banner and on social media.
Work Expectations on Snow Days
The work expectations on snow days are not changing in 2023-2024. As a result, the following are the work expectations:
● Teachers are not expected to work.
● School year hourly staff may choose to have a non-paid day or use vacation time for those days.
● Year-round school-based and Central Office staff are expected to work on snow days though they may work from home with the permission of their supervisor.
● Custodians are expected to work and report to their buildings per standard protocols for inclement weather.