Monday, January 25, 2016


Superintendent John Ramos made clear at Monday night's school board meeting that there would be school on Tuesday after a snow day Monday following the weekend snowstorm.
He added school would be open "at the regularly scheduled time."

Columbia High School Principal Elizabeth Aaron, meanwhile, sent a lengthy letter to parents late Monday with caution for travel to school, even advising that students be dropped off "a block or two away."

See the letter below:

Dear CHS Community: 
The Maplewood and SO Department of Public Works,  our school district maintenance staff and our custodial teams have worked all weekend and today to make our schools ready for opening tomorrow. 
Based on our walks around school today, we recommend the following: 
Please leave ample time to arrive at school, including even more time that you think you may need. Our cafeteria doors will open as usual at 7 am for our breakfast program, and students are welcome to wait there for the 7:20 bell.  They may, as usual, also continue to arrive at and enter school through those cafeteria doors thru our 8:15 bell.  We certainly want your students to be at school on time so that our day runs smoothly before we begin midterm exams on Wednesday.  I would recommend adding at least double your usual travel time in our towns to assure a smooth arrival at school.  Our teachers and staff will be ready to teach at 7:20 and 8:15 as always! 
Our student and faculty lots have been plowed.  That said, piles of snow are high, and corners may have reduced visibility.  Please advise your student drivers to exercise special care as they slow  down at corners and enter our lots. In fact, this would be a great week for them to explore the environmentally-aware practice of car-pooling. 
Please know that many residents around Hixon Place, Academy Street, Kensington, and North Terraces have shoveled sidewalks but not necessarily to their full width, and the streets are not their full width. In fact, with two lanes of traffic on them, there will be little extra room, if any.  This is especially important to remember as you turn on any of those corners.  Some of the streets have as much as 8 feet of snow from the curb into the street. 
The crosswalks at Kensington Terrace are visible, and there are cut outs from those crosswalks from Kensington Terrace straight onto our sidewalks.  That is to say, if you drop your students along Parker, there will not be cut outs for them to get onto our sidewalk all along the length of that street. There will be a cut out if they walk to those crosswalks. 
This is all to say, frankly, that your best plan for safe and smooth arrival at CHS tomorrow is to drop your student a block or two from school, and have them walk safely on shoveled sidewalks, and CROSS WITH OUR CROSSING GUARDS at North Terrace/Academy and Parker Ave OR at Valley and Parker at the lights where there is also a crossing guard. 
We recommend the same for pick up, and strongly recommend that your students, if possible, meet you a block or two away from school if they can, or that they walk home. 
Please remind your students that it is always important for them to be aware of their surroundings and to exhibit common sense, and for the next few days, that certainly means walking carefully, not looking down at screens or being distracted by phone conversations or their music/earbuds, and watching for any ice or slick spots that may develop overnight so that they arrive safely at school
Thank you for your support, and as always, remind your Cougars (as I often do) to be safe and be smart, 
Elizabeth Aaron 

No comments: