Bus Cancellations and School Closures Due to Weather

Good afternoon Tall Pines families,

We would like to qualify our position regarding the recent need for school closures due to the weather.  We would like to start by saying that we are acutely aware of the impact that our decisions have on the families in our school.  We understand that when schools close, businesses stay open, and this can create childcare quandaries.

That said, we follow a strict protocol when we make the decision to close our school due to weather conditions.  We start by following the lead of the Peel District School Board.  Their decisions are made based on the conditions of roads and side streets in the area.  If it is deemed that driving conditions are not ideal, and if people are being asked not to travel unless absolutely necessary, then the decision is made to close our school.  We would like all of our families and teaching staff to stay safe. Everyone in our school arrives by means of vehicular transport.

This decision is also made when conditions are such that we feel that the weather event will continue, causing us to close the school early.  While we understand that it is difficult for people who are at work to come and get their children, at this point lessons are no longer being taught, as many staff are also leaving early, and those still in the building are caring for a varied age grouping of students.  As an employer, we would like to be able to ensure an early and safe dismissal to all of our staff, not having to rely on those who live nearest the school to “hold down the fort” and have to travel home in the brunt of a storm.

These decisions are not made lightly, and not without serious discussion amongst all of the Leadership Team.  We weigh the likelihood of the weather event settling down to conditions more conducive to driving, versus the likelihood of the weather event becoming increasingly more severe.  We also consider the fact that should we stay open, we may have many staff not come to work, thus affecting the ratio of our number of supervisors to students.  There is a ministry standard we must uphold.

When decisions are made, we are aware that they affect families who need to find unanticipated daycare.  We are also aware, conversely, that our teachers are losing valuable teaching time with their students.  There is no “win, win” situation in this case.  Therefore, we ask for your understanding when we make these decisions.  They are not made without due consideration.

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Morning Everyone,

The energy in the school halls is contagious. This week has been filled with a hustle and bustle of activities, with school now being in full swing. This past Wednesday evening the Zone hosted their annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner for their students and families. It was a successful evening, with ~150 in attendance. The Zone students were recognized for their Expedition achievement, students shared what they learned from participating in the Expedition, and their families watched several videos showcasing the Expedition experience. It was truly a wonderful evening for all.

Today, the UE and Grades 4-6 classes will come together as one; combining their efforts to welcome their families for a Thanksgiving Potluck Lunch in the Gym. It too will be a great memorable experience for all, as they also will showcase in video their own camp experience with their families.

Also, today we remember the great Terry Fox. The school is in red in his honour. We also walk/run for those in our own lives, who too are battling with, or have succumbed to cancer.

During this time, we must remember the importance of gratitude. According to the words of Melody Beattie, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”\

To all of you, I am blessed and grateful that you have come into my life. You have enriched it more than you know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jan Zaharchuk