News

Don’t let our small size fool you—we have BIG things going on! This is our rooftop—the place where we shout all the great news. Check here for the news and announcements that affect our school family.

Superintendent's Letter to Our Families

Dear Families,

While it is never ideal to close school, in the recent Planned Safety Power Shutoffs, Howell Mountain Elementary School was forced to close. Without electricity, we do not have the capability of communicating with our parents or emergency dispatch personnel. In addition, we do not have the capacity to prepare meals for students, nor the capacity to transport students off the hill. We are aware that school closures impact families, financial resources, and schedules. For these burdens, we thank our families for supporting our decision. It is always desirable to reopen school and return to normal instructional activities as soon as safe operations can be assured.

Every school year, students are required to attend school for 180 days. When school cancels for emergency conditions, schools may apply for a waiver through the state department of education, allowing school districts to claim average daily attendance. Howell Mountain Elementary School intends to file for this waiver, so students and families will not have to make any further adjustments to their schedules or routines. Students will not be required to make up these lost days of instruction. I have requested that teaching staff pay close attention to pacing guides so that students will still have access to rigorous academic instruction. With this modification, students will be on track to receive their intended academic instruction.

If you should have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at any time.

My best,

Dr. Janet Tufts
Superintendent/Principal
Howell Mountain Elementary School District
(707) 965.2423

Fire Season and School Closures

We are in the midst of California’s fire season, and during this time student and staff safety and comfort is our top concern. It is important that schools and families prepare for both power outages and wildfires.

School districts have many factors to consider when making a school closure decision. Schools provide safe and supportive environments for their students, and our most vulnerable students rely on them most. We recognize how disruptive school closures are for your family, and we will make every effort to keep schools open as long as conditions are safe for students and staff. When this is not possible, we will close the schools and appreciate your understanding.

Please read the letter below from Napa County Superintendent of Schools Barbara Nemko, Ph.D. in its entirety for more information regarding the factors to consider in a school closure.

Boil Water Notice

Due to the recent power outage, which occurred on October 9, 2019, the water distribution system was depressurized. The State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, and the Howell Mountain School are advising all customers to only use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution to avoid stomach or intestinal illness. The affected area includes a portion of Howell Mountain School. 

We will inform you when tests show that water is safe to drink and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate the power to return and the distribution system to be re-pressurized by Saturday evening. Afterwards, we will be collecting special bacteriological samples to ensure the bacteriological water quality of the water. We strongly encourage you to read our Water Boil Notice to stay safe.

Text Messaging Service

Parents and guardians, you can take advantage of our text messaging service. Our school utilizes the SchoolMessenger system to deliver text messages, straight to your mobile phone with important information about events, school closings, safety alerts, and more. You can participate in this free service just by sending a text message of “Y” or “Yes” to our school’s short code number, 67587. You can also opt-out of these messages at any time by simply replying to one of our messages with “Stop”. To learn more about this program, please view our text messaging service flyer.