GRPS Family —

It has been a challenging period of time as we navigated a major winter storm and extremely cold temperatures all while trying to keep our scholars in class as much as possible — ensuring their safety as our top priority.

I want to thank you for your flexibility and cooperation as we made decisions each day on whether to hold school or not.

I want to acknowledge our team that has worked tirelessly to clear snow and manage our facilities during this weather system. Their efforts each day make the work we do possible and I couldn’t be more grateful.

With that being said, I want to acknowledge some of the shortcomings and challenges we had on our end. Tuesday morning, some of our buildings simply were not ready to welcome scholars. In a few cases, snow removal had not been properly completed and the boiler systems in some of our buildings were not functioning adequately.

This made for an especially difficult day for our scholars and families at some of our schools and that is not how we ever want to welcome our children and staff.

The decisions on whether or not to keep school open on days like these are challenging and I’ll be the first to admit that we don’t always get it right. We try our level best to use “snow days” only when necessary.

We know that while some enjoy the surprise days off, they can present serious hardship for others. The safety of our children is always top of mind when making these calls.

We are hopeful that the weather provides us some relief over the next few days. But, we live in West Michigan. This likely won’t be the last snow day conversation of the season.

Our commitment to you is to review our practices and make appropriate adjustments so that when we do decide to continue with school after storms like this, we’re better prepared to welcome our children. They deserve nothing less.

Thank you to those who’ve reached out to express concerns during this winter storm. Your feedback makes us better.

Please stay safe and stay warm as we continue to navigate West Michigan’s winter together.





Dr. Leadriane Roby


Grand Rapids Public Schools