The Express

Snow Days: Are Too Many A Bad Thing?

Written by: Miyala Harris, Reporter

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While already having one snow day this week and two more this school year, superintendent David Howard is planning to meet up with other school districts at nine o’clock this evening to determine if there will be school Thursday, Feb. 22. The weather forecast shows that it will snow from nine o’clock tonight into tomorrow morning.

“We have a conference call at 9 o’clock tonight, me and several other school districts in our area. We’re really relying on that weather forecast, if you remember last year we called it for an ice storm and it never came because the temperature stayed above 32 degrees. But we’ll do a conference call and quite frankly  a lot of the area superintendents will kind of stick together when they call school,” Howard said.

Although determining a snow day may take a while, Howard prefers that the calls are made the night before.

“My preference is to always call it the night before if possible. This last Tuesday at 4:30 in the morning the roads were fine, but we actually waited until the end and then all of a sudden saw a kind of a late weather forecast and fortunately made the right call that day because it really did get bad on Tuesday, Howard said.  “So we do try to call school the night before if possible but sometimes we have to wait till that morning to see what it’s going to do so the timing of those storms sometimes makes it difficult to make that call.”

While Howard does consult with other districts, their decision will not always determine if Basehor-Linwood will have a snow day.

“We don’t necessarily depend on [other schools].  For example, today, Lansing was out, but Tonganoxie, Bonner Springs and Basehor-Linwood were in.  All of Johnson County was out today, but we were in. Sometimes we do kind of lean on each other to kind of stick together, but it’s not necessarily depended upon that,” Howard said.

When Howard believes that students and buses are not able to arrive at school safely, then that is when there will be a snow day announced.

“Really the conditions being whether or not I think it’s safe for our kids to get to school determine my decision, and that means not just driving, but also making sure our bus routes can get by or dirt roads and some of the roads in our county,” Howard said.  

While most students enjoy snow days, more snow days could mean extra days added to the end of the year. However, Howard does not foresee this being an issue.

“We actually have two days built in the calendar and we are required to attend 1,116 hours of school per year, so if we don’t meet that requirement then we potentially have to make up those days at the end of the year.  [However,] we can also count half of the in-service days that our teachers attend and collaboration days and then we can [also] count all of parent-teacher conferences as student contact days towards that time,” Howard said.

 

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Snow Days: Are Too Many A Bad Thing?