February 15, 2021

From a weather perspective, this has been a rough couple weeks. The recent extreme cold spell and snow glazed roads have caused St. James R-I and other school districts throughout Missouri and beyond to cancel school. We understand these cancellation days are an inconvenience for many of you, and we are hopeful this winter will come to an end very soon. Conversely, many of you have expressed your understanding for these canceled days and are using this time to spend with family and as a break from thinking about COVID and other life stresses. Please know that we take the responsibility of making these decisions very seriously by considering the various situations of our students and the various modes in which they travel to and from school: student drivers, bus riders, car riders, and walkers.

One of the axioms of making weather decisions is that not everyone will agree no matter whether that decision is made the night before, the morning of, or dismissing early for the day. I will own that upfront, and ask for your patience and grace. Our team will strive to make the safest, most prudent weather-related decisions based on the present realities before us. Copeland Bus and I rely on the National Weather Service, their forecasts, and information from our public works partners in Phelps, Maries, Gasconade, and Crawford counties. With over 216 square miles of varied terrain and road conditions, we have to take the entirety of the school district into consideration when making the inclement weather decision. 

Thank you for your understanding throughout all of these weather related challenges. Better days are ahead. We just have to get through our current days first. And we will. Once the winter season is officially in our rearview mirror, we will provide a calendar update for our last day of school in May. Thank you for entrusting your children to the St. James R-I School District.