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Update from Clarence CSD November 12, 2021

Dear Clarence School Family,

This past Tuesday, we had our first Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)/Building event at Ledgeview Elementary School. We had approximately 20 parents in attendance, and it was a great opportunity to learn more about the PTO, shared feedback with members of our Board of Education, and tour the building to see different instructional spaces.

If you would like to participate in one or more of our upcoming PTO/Building events, click this link to register as soon as possible. The Friday before the different sessions, we will send out brief emails to registered participants with detailed information on COVID protocols, meeting locations, agendas, etc.

  • Clarence Center Elementary School: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16
  • Harris Hill Elementary School: 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16
  • Clarence High School: 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16
  • Clarence Middle School: 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1
  • Sheridan Hill Elementary School: 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7

School Cancellations

Thank you again for understanding our decision to cancel school on Wednesday. Because of the timing of the incident, we didn’t want our students outside waiting for buses with local law enforcement conducting its search. Luckily, the individual was taken into custody, and no one was harmed in the process.

However, the event was a reminder that school cancellations can happen unexpectedly. With winter weather just around the corner, I wanted to pass along a bit of information so that you have a better understanding of what might happen if we need to cancel or delay school because of unsafe road conditions.

  • How do you decide whether to cancel or delay school?

Closing school is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make. While we want our students in school each day, the reality is that we live in Western New York and the weather can change very quickly. Decisions to cancel or delay school are made very carefully, and only after consulting weather resources, local highway departments, our transportation supervisor, and area school administrators. 

  • How will I know if there is a weather-related cancellation or delay?

In the event of a closing or a cancellation, I will send out a notification over our Blackboard Phone Call/Email/Text system, and we will also post the information on our school homepage as well as our Twitter account. In addition, the information will also be communicated via Buffalo TV and radio stations. (WBEN, Channels 2, 4, and 7.) To give parents enough time to make needed childcare arrangements, I will try to communicate cancellation decisions as close to 6:00 a.m. as possible.

  • Will snow days be replaced with remote learning days?

You may have seen that certain schools around the country have abandoned or rethought traditional snow days because of advances in online learning. However, at this point in time, Clarence will not be asking students or staff members to engage in remote learning if school is cancelled due to weather. Instead, we would encourage individuals to spend a quiet day playing in the snow, reading a good book, or watching a favorite movie.

Weekly COVID Report

Each Friday, we will send out a COVID report with weekly data involving positive case counts as well as the number of individuals placed in quarantine by the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH). Below you will see the report from this past week.

  • 0 individuals at Clarence High School tested positive, 0 quarantined
  • 3 individuals at Clarence Middle School tested positive, 17 quarantined
  • 11 individuals at Clarence Center Elementary School tested positive, 15 quarantined
  • 1 individual at Harris Hill Elementary School tested positive, 1 quarantined
  • 2 individuals at Ledgeview Elementary School tested positive, 0 quarantined
  • 3 individuals at Sheridan Hill Elementary School tested positive, 3 quarantined

Earlier this week, I emailed you about the correspondence between the ECDOH and the Williamsville Central School District regarding mask breaks. You may have seen that later in the day on November 9, the ECDOH clarified that it did “not intend to take enforcement measures against schools that are providing students with mask breaks during the school day.” As such, we will continue providing the same safe and thoughtful masks breaks that we have in Clarence since September of 2020.

Finally, we would like to wish our Cross Country as well as our Field Hockey teams the best of luck as they compete at the State level this weekend! Our Athletic Director, Mr. Lehmbeck, likes to say that “athletics are the ‘front porch’ of school districts,” and these Red Devils represent the very best parts of Clarence when they compete outside of our community.

Hoping this finds you safe, healthy, and well—have a great weekend.

Matt Frahm, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools