Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Oh no!! Another Snow Day!!
To date we have had 6 snow days this school year - what a winter we are having! There are various reactions from students, parents and teachers. "Hooray!! Another family day!" "Oh no! The children / students are missing too much school!" "Now I have to get a sitter again.. why can't the school be open so we can drop them off for the day?" "How am I going to get all the curriculum covered?" "Our students are not getting in all the learning they need… "Snow days are the BEST!!" And there are several more one-liners that I have heard and/or read on social media.
We are experiencing a difficult, but beautiful winter in Canada. In the past number of years there have been very few snow days, so with all the snow days, there have been some concerns/questions from students and parents:
• How is it decided when the buses are cancelled and school is closed?
Checking the Weather Network for weather warnings is the first step. If weather conditions are questionable, Lang's Bus Lines will send an email to the school reporting delays or cancellations. If they cancel buses, WCS buses are generally cancelled and the school is closed for the day. If I feel we might still run our buses, I will get a second opinion from our bus coordinator and/or bus drivers. Based on our collaboration, a decision is made with the safety of our children and drivers being our foremost consideration.
• Are we going to make up the snow days?
When the yearly schedule is planned, extra days are scheduled to account for a number of snow days. When schools are closed due to weather issues, it is not required that the days be rescheduled. However because this year we have had so many (and perhaps even more are coming!), this year it has been decided to add several more school days - we will have regular school days on Friday, February 28th, Monday, March 17th, and Friday, May 16th. Two of these replace PA days and the other is taken from the end of March Break.
• Why is the school not open on snow days even if the buses are cancelled?
For all schools in TVDSB that use bus service as the main transportation to bring students to and from school, the schools are closed when buses are cancelled. WCS also follows this guideline.
• What do teachers do on Snow Days?
Several things…. We take a break like the rest of the school enjoying our families, sleeping in, taking time for an extra cup of coffee… we re-plan our lessons to fit the shorter week… we have extra time to plan / organize special events or new units of study…. we catch up on marking assignments and getting ready to write report cards… we meet together as staff for extra PD activities… we take time to engage in reading books / articles that we never seem to have time for…
Snow days may be good for your family or they may be frustrating for your family. Both reactions are totally understandable. School is where teachers and students want and need to be. Will there be more snow days? Personally I hope not… however I invite you to accept each day as a gift and rejoice in whatever the Lord has planned for us!
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