November 2022-Employee Newsletter

Staff Newsletter - November 2022

It is hard to believe that we are already at the end of November.  It seems as though this year has been flying by.  I trust everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday and you were able to spend some quality time with family and friends. As we move into December, we will be twelve school days away from the Christmas Holiday break.  This also means you only have 24 days to take care of all of your shopping for the holiday.

The Town of Amherst is hosting the annual Christmas parade on Friday December 2 at 6:30 PM on Main Street in Amherst.  This year the parade is back to the pre-pandemic format with entrants traveling from the Amherst Library towards the traffic circle.  Mayor Tuggle and yours truly will be serving as the masters of ceremony for the parade.  I encourage you to #Show Up and support your community at the parade this Friday.

As we move closer to the colder days of the year and better opportunities for winter weather, I wanted to remind everyone of the school closure codes we will be using as well as the process we use to determine a school closure or two-hour delay.  When we have forecast that is calling for winter precipitation our snow team (Dr. Wells, Dr. Hoden, Mr. Roakes and Mrs. Campbell) begins discussions on how we will monitor road conditions.  If a storm is imminent or precipitation is falling, we begin checking roads around 4:00 AM.  Our goal is to make a decision by 5:45 AM so we can notify families and personnel in a timely manner.  However, sometimes Mother Nature does not cooperate with our timeline and we have to make judgement calls based on the forecast.  We will err on the side of caution as much as possible when we believe a storm is imminent.

Once a storm has passed, we begin snow clearing operations as soon as it is safe to do so.  Our first priority is to clear parking lots and sidewalks to ensure that staff and students have safe access to the buildings.  At the same time, we begin checking area roads to determine if they are clear for travel.  Our goal is to make a decision by 4:00 PM so we can alert families and staff of any changes to our operational schedule.

It is important to realize the size and elevation changes in the county.  There are times when some areas of the county will be experiencing winter weather while other areas are not.  We have to take into account all of the roads in the county and if we have areas of the county that are not deemed safe for travel we will opt to alter our operational schedule.

When a decision has been made to alter our normal operational schedule, ACPS will utilize our social media channels, School Messenger, school email, and local broadcast stations.  We will make every effort to notify staff and families in a timely manner.

ACPS has four basic options when we determine the need to alter our operational schedule:

1.      Two Hour Delay – ACPS will operate on a two-hour delay. Staff and students should report two hours after their normal report time.  Essential personnel (grounds, maintenance, custodians, building administration) should report on time.
2.      Closed Code 1 –  Students, Teachers and teacher assistants do not report.  All 12 month and 11 month administrative employees should report as usual or as soon as they can. Those who do not report are required to utilize a day of leave.
3.      Closed Code 2 – The school division is closed to staff and students. The following personnel are expected to report. Those who do not report are required to utilize a day of leave.
a.      Division Level Administration – Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Supervisors, Directors, and the CFO.
b.      Building Level Administrators – All principals and assistant principals.
c.      Designated Emergency Personnel – maintenance, mechanics, grounds, and custodians.
4.      Closed Code 3 – All schools and administrative offices are closed.  Principals and Supervisors will contact emergency personnel to discuss reporting.

As we approach the holiday break, I ask you to remain focused on providing quality instruction and providing safe and supportive learning environments for our students.  Also remember that it is the time of year to give to those who are less fortunate and offer thanks for all that we have been fortunate enough to receive.  Thank you for all you do for the students and the greater Amherst Community. 



Staff Division Operations Survey

We are conducting a division operations survey for all staff. The responses from our staff will provide division leadership with valuable feedback regarding a variety of topics. Your responses to the survey will be kept anonymous. Thank you!

Click Here to Complete the Survey

Upcoming Events

December 1
Interim Reports
December 19-30
Holiday Break (no school for students & 10/11 month staff)
January 2
Staff Development Day (no school for students)

Practicing Gratitude

#ShowUpAmherst continues to gain momentum and provide information and resources for our staff, students, families, and community!

Read more ⟶

This month we celebrated American Education Week. We are so grateful for all of the amazing educators  in ACPS who continue to serve the students and families in our community. We appreciate all that you do!

Amherst Cares and
"Food Lion Feeds" Boxes

Amherst Cares provides weekend and holiday meals to over 600 ACPS students.  So far this year, Amherst Cares has provided 5,125 bags of non-perishable food to our students.  Amherst Cares has partnered with the Amherst Food Lion to provide "Food Lion Feeds" boxes to our students.  You can sponsor these boxes by going to the Food Lion in Amherst and letting them you would like to purchase a "Food Lion Feeds" box for Amherst Cares. We hope to be able to send boxes home with our students for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  Please consider sponsoring one or more of these boxes to support Amherst Cares and the students of ACPS.

The Town of Amherst Christmas Parade is on Friday, December 2nd in the Town of Amherst and will be back on Main Street! The parade will take place rain or shine. The excitement begins at 6:30 p.m. where the parade will step-off from Kenmore Road before traveling up Main Street and ending at the traffic circle.

Legislator's Visit

Dr. Wells hosted a visit for our local legislators on November 29. Our visitors were treated to a wonderful brunch prepared by Mr. Sam Addison's talented culinary arts students and a tour of the vocational wing at Amherst County High School. Dr. Wells was able to discuss the school division's concerns about public education in our community and the state. We appreciate their assistance as we advocate for our students, staff, and our community!