Snow Days

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Peregrin5, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    How many snow days if any have you had so far this year? We've had 4. Coming from California where we have no snow days unless you live in particular areas, this is new to me. I hear we have to make up those days in some way and they might have to be added on at the end of the year. If you get snow days or other inclement weather days, how does your school make up for the hours (or do you make them up at all?)?
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    None. The city just north of us has already had five. I would lay awake at night, checking the news saying Cities to the North are closing school. But my city is just too far south. Darn Utah climate chaos.

    Technically, we do get snow days. The last time I remember a snow day in our area was 25 years ago ( I teach a city away from where I grew up). We have so many emergency days built into the school year schedule. Essentially, we schedule a few more days of school than the state requires. If we don't use any of them or all of them, great. Theoretically, if we used all of them and still had days off, they would be made up at the end of the year.
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I am enjoying my 5th of the year today. We had 4 before Christmas (3 consecutive)! We do not make them up at the end of the year and our school year is from Tuesday after Labour Day-June 30.
     
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Not to derail the thread, but perhaps as a further question if I may:

    This is something I was thinking about last week when I was laying awake all night hoping for a snow day. There were some complaints from families that we did not call a snow day as the weather was pretty bad (though even my wishing state wasn't necessarily "snow day" level). Since we're a charter we would have the power to independently call school off. Anywho, our principal responded on her blog, and my mom's school district also had a similar thought:

    In essence, the powers that be were hesitant to call snow days unless absolutely necessary due to the number of parents who work who would be affected by unexpected childcare commitments. My school is Title 1 and my mom's school district is not terribly wealthy.

    Has anyone noticed that the local culture or SES can affect snow days?
     
  6. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    We have actually had "rain days" here in Northern CA when flooding made the roads dangerous. We didn't have to make them up, which came as a surprise to me, since I grew up in New England and had to make up snow days at the end of the year.
     
  7. Bioguru

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    We almost had to last week. It started coming down pretty good and we ended up dismissing around noon. Everything looks good for the next week at least, but we'll see how January and February finish out.
     
  8. ChildWhisperer

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    Snow Days are made up at the end of the year, but we rarely have snow days.
    Even there is a blizzard, they will hold school. Joys of living in Illinois where snow is common.
    We have more heat days than snow days, days when the weather is in the 90s and some schools in the district do not have air conditioning
     
  9. MissScrimmage

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    We never dismiss early. Many parents are not home during the day so once the busses are sent out in the morning, school is on for the full day. If the highways close during the day then we do cancel busses for the end of the day, but that's rare since it causes a huge circus of calling parents/alternate arrangements/families driving on closed roads etc.
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    2 so far. We don't have to make them up. One year we had over 10 and still didn't make them up. We have hours we have to meet, and we're way over that.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Yes. Interestingly, most companies that employ white collar workers were closed as well both yesterday and today, but it seemed to me that the companies that employ low wage workers were open today and probably yesterday as well.
     
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  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our schools don't close because of weather. If roads are bad, the school buses are cancelled, but schools remain open. Some parents do decide to keep their children home these days, but most come to school. If staff don't feel that it is safe for them to get to their school, we are asked to report to the school nearest to us.
     
  13. heatherberm

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    We've had one snow day, but we've also had three days with a two-hour delay and earlier this week we went home an hour and a half early which I've never experienced before. We have four extra days built into our schedule so we can have up to that many snow days before we have to think about making up days. If we get up to that point, we start losing holidays rather than adding them to the end of the year. I live in one of the snowiest areas in the country so most districts around here won't cancel unless absolutely necessary even with the built in days. If we have a two-hour delay, that day still counts so they'll try to do that first.

    The district I worked at before this was a low SES school, but 80% of our kids walked to school so between how awful the plowing is and how many of them didn't have proper winter gear, we closed a little more often than some districts. If we didn't, absentee numbers were always really high. Before Thanksgiving break we had a day like that and my largest class was 11 kids (out of 25) and my smallest was 5 kids (out of 24). I haven't been at my current district long enough to really see a pattern yet although they do seem to delay rather than close if at all possible.
     
  14. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    We've had one. It didn't even snow 1/2 inch, but here in the South people freak out at the possibility of snow. We build 5 days into the calendar. However many we don't use, we get out that many days early at the end of the year. If we go over five, they get added on to the end of the year. My state passed a law last year that you can add hours to each day to make up snow days, so some schools go an extra hour for six days to make up each day missed.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Wow, Mrs. C: this sounds like a recipe for disaster. If a teacher/teachers report to the school nearest to their home, who teaches their class at their home school? Also, if only 1/2 or 1/3 of a class shows up, is it business as usual in the classroom (meaning, a teacher would teach lessons as though the entire class is there)?

    Maybe I'm thinking too much into this, though! Haha!
     
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  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Most schools in our county had one today. We had freezing rain overnight making the dirt roads skating rinks.

    Backroada....A lot if the bigger city schools around 2 major...Do try to close the night before ( if they do you know it is bad). Today one closed this morning.... That is rare because of the childcare concern. Our schools are rural... We have more dirt roads than paved... Doesn't take a lot to lose the road or be a skating rink.

    I am wondering how many will close tomorrow... We had a mix of every type of precip (last night we had a small thunderstorm), then freezing rain,hail grauple & the sun came out. It was around freezing for temps... Now only 27.
     
  17. MLB711

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    Zero. We have had two delays so far, one being yesterday. Today it's 60 degrees. I do not think we are in for many snow days this year, much like last year. Last winter all of our snow came in 1 weekend - literally 32" in 12 hours. On a Saturday.
    Our school schedule I see much like adgamity where we have 4 built in days. Any more, we add on time at the end of the year.
     
  18. otterpop

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    Wow - that's a long school year! How many teaching days is that? In our state, we're required to have 180.
     
  19. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    We have had 1 day, but go just a little south, and they've had 7 days in one district and 8 in another district (counting tomorrow, which was called earlier today) :eek:. Assuming it's better by Tuesday, those tallies should stop going up for a while, as it's supposed to get back to the "norm"...but it's crazy how many they have already had, especially given our 1. Our 1 so far is tacked on to the end of the year. One of the two other mentioned ones is purely added onto the end, and I think the other might be too, but has to go to a vote first. Luckily, I think both also started before Labor Day. We started after, and would be into July if we had that number of days!
     
  20. otterpop

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    As a kid, I don't think we ever had to make up snow days, although we often had a day or two each year.

    Where I am now, we don't have snow days.
     
  21. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Yes, I have. We are often told that it is "irresponsible" for the district to call snow days because many of our students would not be getting breakfast or lunch without school, and some students may be living in homes without heat. Before anyone says they don't get breakfast/lunch from school on weekends or breaks, my district (along with other low SES districts) provides free lunch to anyone in the community under the age of 18 on all breaks, including summer, and we have about 45 kids who receive food bags each Friday to take home for the weekend. That said, I don't think this justifies not calling snow days when the weather is very dangerous. I get that the district doesn't want to call "frivolous" snow days, but there have also been many days when I've been out driving in dangerous weather. There have even been many days that my private sector friends got a snow day or work from home day and I had to go in to school. I always wonder about what would happen if (God forbid) something happens to a teacher trying to get to work in dangerous weather. Does the fear of students missing one breakfast/lunch justify putting someone's life at risk?

    Before I moved to my current city, I lived in a mountain ski resort town. Talk about no snow days! That's a good example of where "local culture" rather than SES dictated snow day policy. The schools simply do not close, even when there are literal blizzards and feet of snow, which is frequent. The average yearly snowfall there was 450 inches per year. I would often pass numerous wrecks in my 10 minute commute to work and am thankful nothing ever happened to me. We were told that we lived in a "snow economy" and "suck it up" basically. Most teachers were in agreement with the policy- it really was just a totally different culture up there! We once took the kids on all day ski trip in -17 degree weather (actual temperature, not wind chill). People looked at me like I had three heads when I asked if were cancelling the trip.

    Now that I live "down in the city" we do get infrequent snow days if things are really, really bad. I've had 3 snow days in 7 years of teaching. It's quite the adjustment for me because in my hometown schools close for one inch and we NEVER drive in snow. I hadn't driven in anything other than flurries before moving here. I don't even know what the policy is for making up days because we've never had enough days out to have to worry about it. I think we might have to make it up if it's more than 3 days?
     
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  22. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I think our school year is roughly 200 days, but then there are inservices and all of these snow days, so we usually end up between 180-190.
     
  23. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I have heard because there are so many backroads we do get called more often because of kids waiting for the bus... If the bus were to get stuck & kids out just waiting .... Now this was back when I was in school my best friend's mom was a bus driver & no way if knowing... No cell phones. I would still think it could be true....
    All I can say is Praise those bus drivers who get the students to & from safely. I couldn't do it. I am a white knuckle driver in the winter.
     
  24. otterpop

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    It does seem like, at some point, the district should just buy snow chains or studded tires in order to stop needing to cancel school. Sure, it's a big expense, but if you could use these items over multiple years, it would solve a lot of issues.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The vast majority of our students in my school board do not take the bus; at my school of close to 700, we have fewer than 50 bus students. We had a day earlier this week when buses were cancelled and 24 of my 32 students were at school. It was business as usual. If the majority of the class is absent, or if classes are without teachers, admin will look at doing some combining of classes and we'll offer some 'alternative programming'. If we have teachers from other schools who have reported to us, we'll put them into empty classes. In reality, it works.
     
  26. TeacherNY

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    I heard NYC schools do the same thing. So basically, they're viewing school as babysitting when the parents have to work. Oh, and also they claim if the students don't go to school they don't eat, so they have school open even if the weather is terrible. Sorry, I don't agree with this. They're putting the lives of people who have to travel to the school at risk just so parents don't have to PARENT.
     
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  27. TeacherNY

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    Yeah, but then the teachers would have to put chains on their tires. Is the district going to pay for that? Seems unfair.
     
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  28. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I am sympathetic to kids who rely on schools for meals, and I suppose using schools as a way to fight community hunger is as good a channel for those services as any, but I am still annoyed that is the only lifeline. Something seems off when the school becomes less about education and more about childcare. Again, it is good the services are there but... why?
     
  29. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I have my first snow day today! Which is hilarious, because the snow/ice we're supposed to get hasn't even hit yet, so I'm driving in to work anyway to work in my classroom (plus everything I need to plan this weekend is in my room...).
    The only reason I even bothered to check if school was out today was because I got a voicemail from the district closest to me at 5:50 this morning that THEY were closing.
     
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  30. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Yeah, that's very true. I didn't think of that.
     
  31. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My credit-recovery charter school is year-round, so we're already well over our minimum number of school days / hours. If the city schools declare a snow day or even a two-hour delay, we will close.
     
  32. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    We've had 1 day called off with no actual snow falling on said day.

    We have 10 snow days built in...if we use them they aren't made up. You can imagine the excitement that a chance of snow brings. Last year we used about 3...here's to hoping for 10 this year! :)
     
  33. DressageLady

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    Well, this is a timely topic! We had five snow days in a row, starting on January 4. We just got back in on January 11. We were off for two weeks for winter break, back one day (January 3) and then home for another week.

    It turns out that five snow days in a row has never happened here. It seems as if five snow days in a year has never happened. This is Idaho, but not an area that gets a lot of snow. We generally see 1-3 inches. It melts and we might get another few inches here and there. That is it. But this snow storm was big! I think we ended up with almost two feet. It was a mess.

    The state allows us to lose up to eleven hours of instructional time in any one school year due to weather or other Acts Of God. We have missed more than eleven hours. So, we will hold school on January 16, MLK Day (or Human Rights Day here in Idaho, because God forbid MLK have a day all for himself) and on President's Day in February. Although none of us are happy about losing two holidays, we all support the decision. We need to add the time back in while we are still actively teaching, and not tack them on at the end of the year when nothing is really getting done.
    Sheilah
     
  34. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    We had another snow day today. It was -45C (-49F) with the windchill, so it was too cold for the buses to run. Classes were cancelled, but teachers were still expected to report to their schools and have a work day.
     
  35. Peregrin5

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    Our snow happened on Wednesday, but the the roads are still icy, largely because Oregon doesn't have the infrastructure to deal with it, and they don't want to salt the roads due to environmental concerns.

    One thing that's interesting is the superintendent emailed everyone about how they'll have to make up the work hours they missed during the snow days. As if teachers don't work at all past contract hours, lol! I've probably worked enough past contract hours to pay for 10 snow days. But we're now required to do some kind of extra hours at the school to make up for it. Ridiculous.
     
  36. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I wonder how they'll keep track of this? Sounds like a headache for admin!
     
  37. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    What a disrespectful policy! It's not like teachers are punching a clock putting in their 8 hours per day and then leaving.
     
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  38. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    We have had 1 snow day. I live in northern Minnesota right along the Canada border. It has to be pretty bad for us to get snow days. The day we did have cancelled we got a foot of snow overnight and strong winds all morning blowing the new snow everywhere.
     
  39. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I can probably count on one hand how many snow days I've had in the past two decades, but it was eighty today so it's just not as likely. But if there is one ice cube's worth of ice on the roads, we will be delayed or canceled since we can't hack driving in those conditions! We have one or two bad weather/holidays built into our schedule. If we have to close, we take away the holiday and have horrible attendance on that day since parents don't believe we have to make it up. We certainly couldn't add days to the end or there'd be a riot!
     
  40. TeacherNY

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    What happens if your car won't start and you can't get to school? I've had that happen to my car when it wasn't even as cold as your weather. I would think that's a valid call out excuse even though at my school we can't call out on work days without a doctor's note.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  41. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    We would be expected to get a boost and then report to work when we could. This is typical weather for us, so we are all prepared! We plug our cars in so we have a better chance of them starting.

    The message is to "report to work when weather permits", so if my back lane isn't ploughed yet and I can't get in, that's fine. But we need to make an attempt to get there and something better be physically wrong with your vehicle/road if you don't make it.
     

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