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Friday, February 05, 2016

Snow Day Trepidation

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It's snowing outside and we have school. That fills me with trepidation, yet I'm happy that I don't have to make the "snow day" call.

Why trepidation?

These snowy mornings bring all kinds of confusion to the school day. First of all children often arrive late or not at all which creates confusion with regard to the teaching. Next, the children often come less ready to learn and more ready to play, thus a challenge. Further, for some, the drive to school is harrowing which creates disarray. As a young mother, this was particularly challenging since it was frightening to drive to school with babies in the car. If you're a mom whose children go to a different school system, one that has called school off, that creates even more disruption. Lastly, if it's snowing all day, there's always the worry about the drive home. Years ago we met a great challenge in this regard.

On the other hand, sometimes the call is just right. The drive to school is not difficult, and the children find the classroom to be a cozy place and the day goes just fine.

Today as I ready for school, I wonder how the day will go. I live close so it's unlikely that the drive will be difficult, yet the hill can be slippery at times. My children are grown so there isn't the worry of bundling up babies and driving them to daycare. Also, I'll dress in snow clothes and be ready to flexibly respond to what the day presents.

In general, I feel that the snow call should be made by local safety officials and I think it's a good idea to make regional calls in this regard rather than school system by school system. This would take the pressure off school administrators whose main charge is to lead the teaching and learning, and put the decision in the hands of those for whom safety is their main charge. I think that would be a good way to go.