Snow Forecast Warning

December 15, 2020

Dear families,

We are writing to notify you that our plans continue to be in motion for an anticipated visit from Governor Baker; however, there is a potential for significant snow in the forecast tomorrow evening into Thursday morning that may impact our plans.   This memo includes details surrounding the anticipated visit, the potential scheduling outcomes for this Thursday (12/17/20) which will be based on Milestones’ local discretion, and our expectations regarding longer-term snow related decisions for this school year.

  • (1) Governor Baker’s Visit:  Governor Baker’s office confirmed yesterday that he and respective team members are still planning to visit Milestones on Thursday afternoon (12/17) if the weather cooperates to allow for onsite school.  We anticipate that he will be joined by Massachusetts Secretary of Education James Peyser, Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley, a police/security officer, and select media and administrative colleagues that travel as part of his team.  Separately, we anticipate that public media representatives will attend for a press debrief in our gymnasium, but those external representatives will not be permitted as part of our school tour.  His office is clear on our health and safety guidelines (which were developed based upon state recommendations) and has affirmed that visitors and media representatives will comply with our daily health attestations. Classroom capacity limits will also be respected (ex: some guests may observe from hallways outside of classrooms) to promote a safe and positive visit.
  • (2) Forthcoming Snow Related Policy Information for 2020-2021: Milestones’ practice is to align our decision regarding snow-related cancellations and delays with the decision of Waltham Public Schools.  For the 2020-2021 school year, DESE is permitting individual schools to choose whether to offer traditional “snow day” cancellations (to be made up at the end of the school year) or pivot to remote instruction days instead of snow-related cancellations (which would end the school year in June on time) if inclement weather warrants schools to not open onsite.   Waltham Public Schools is expecting to finalize a decision with their local school committee later this week, after which Milestones will announce our plans for the 2020-2021 school year as well.
  • (3) Interim Local Decision-Making Regarding This Thursday’s School Day (12/17/20):   While we await confirmation from Waltham Public Schools regarding longer term plans, Milestones is independently following the weather forecast and will announce our own decision about Thursday’s programming tomorrow evening (Wednesday, 12/16/20) by no later than 9:00pm. Tomorrow night all families and staff will receive an automated voicemail and email regarding our decision.  Transportation companies will be included in our automated voice message.

For Thursday (12/17/20), Milestones will opt for one of the following outcomes:

  • Open Onsite As Usual
  • Open Onsite With a 2 Hour Delay (10:30am arrival for students, with staff arriving by 9:30am)
  • Remote Pivot Day:  All classes would be held remotely, in which case, we would need to cancel Governor Baker’s visit and attempt to reschedule based around his availability.

Proactively, we are planning to send all students home with their Chromebooks tomorrow to be prepared if Thursday requires a remote pivot.  Classroom teachers will also ensure that their Google Classroom sites are updated in advance.

Thank you for your attention and flexibility, and we’ll be back in touch tomorrow evening to confirm our plans regarding Thursday’s school day.