Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Feb. 14, 2019

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Errmmm… Hi, remember us? Your kids sometimes go to school here.

We know the last two weeks have been very challenging with the weather and school closures, and we very much appreciate your patience and understanding. We have received a few expressions of frustration as school closures mean missed work days and early morning scrambles to find babysitters.

The weather and closures over the last few weeks are unprecedented. There have not been back-to-back school closures since 1999, and we had two over the last two weeks. We have also had more closures in the last three weeks than we’ve had over the course of any recent winter seasons.

Lyonsgate will continue to take advantage of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board’s (HWDSB) process to determine whether or not to close school during inclement weather. We do so because, as a private school without cachement restrictions, Lyonsgate families, and staff, travel from all areas of Hamilton. Please remember, even if the weather or roads don’t look so bad in your neighbourhood, or in the area surrounding the school, they might be awful elsewhere. Trying to make an independent decision each time there is inclement weather is not feasible because we do not have the resources to gather information from all parts of Hamilton and surrounding area. Furthermore, HWDSB posts cancellation notices at approximately 6:00 a.m., which gives us time to notify you and avoids even worse last minute scrambles that a later notification would incur. This means that sometimes, like this week’s closures, decisions are made based on weather forecasts that may change over the course of the day.

The HWDSB process for determining whether or not to close schools is as follows:

When bad weather is expected, Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) carriers check weather reports, road conditions and road clearing, starting as early as 4 a.m. Based on this information, the Director of Education makes the decision in conjunction with Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. HWDSB will announce the cancellation of school and board operations by 6 a.m. based on the best information at the time. We share this announcement on the HWDSB website, HWDSB’s Twitter account and on the HWSTS website. We also contact local media outlets including CHCH TV, CHML and the Hamilton Spectator. A school cancellation is a tough decision – and some families may disagree with HWDSB’s call.[In our experience, HWDSB’s Twitter and website are the most prompt, accurate, and reliable].

Lyonsgate will email everyone and post the closure on as soon as the HWDSB posts their notice. To avoid confusion, we will only post closures.

This week will remain challenging as Lyonsgate has a scheduled PD Day on Friday, Feb. 15, that leads us into the Family Day long weekend. There is no school on Monday, Feb. 18, because of the statutory holiday.

Since we were only here two days this week there is not much for your children’s guides to update you about, and no photos of your children’s Montessori work, so everything in the posted update is included in your update email. Let’s hope this is the end of the terrible weather and there are no more closures this year.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding over these last two difficult weeks.