Good afternoon Morongo USD families,
Welcome to our first electronic newsletter dedicated to the parents/guardians of our students and community members.
I wanted to provide you with a brief update on the process that takes place when a difficult decision (such as cancelling or delaying schools) has to be made. This is something we don’t take lightly. Ultimately, safety comes first, that of students, teachers, school personnel, and support staff. Our goal is to make the decision as early as possible. But, you may have noticed, the weather in our basin is unpredictable and sometimes we need to monitor weather conditions for a longer period of time, to make the best possible decision. In addition to monitoring the weather, we have to check road condition, school accessibility, and live video feed from across the district, constantly communicating and assessing the areas with greater impact. This process begins at 3:30 AM and due to the wide spread of our district a decision cannot be made until 6:00 AM. This is what happened on Wednesday, however, within a matter of 10 minutes, the weather pattern changed dramatically, which forced us to delay our messaging and notify the cancellation of schools at 6:25 AM.
We can call this a crisis, but I rather see it as an opportunity, as John Kennedy once said: “When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters - one represents danger and one represents opportunity.” Considering this interpretation, my team and I took this crisis as an opportunity to evaluate the current practices and procedures in place and assess the outcome to make it better next time. We convened both days and highlighted the lessons learned and areas of improvement including, but not limited to, chain of communication, timeliness, clarity of messaging, starting time for schools, and so on. In order to turn this unfortunate event into an opportunity, we had think, see, and respond differently. Our goal is student and staff safety, and this incident challenged the traditional approach and paradigm we have in place potentially leading to new cooperative behaviors and potentially new systems or structures.
I do ask for your patience and understanding. We’re in this together and only with your support we can make it better.
Thank you for your consideration and do enjoy your weekend.
Dr. Patricio I. Vargas, Superintendent