Snow days: More goes into the decision than students think

Ellis Smith, Contributing Writer

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We cross our fingers. We cross our toes. We pray on wishing stars. We do everything but turn our pjs inside out and flush an ice cube down the toilet—oh wait we do that too. Snow days– a day off school, FREEDOM, whatever you wish to call it– in Solon, we all know that even when we wish for a snow day, our dreams for a snow day rarely happen, but why is that?

“That decision [of a snow day] is made by the superintendent of each school district,” said Josh Frazier, Assistant Principal at Solon High School (SHS). ”They closely monitor the roads, they see how the commute is going in the morning and how it will impact the student.”

So what do the superintendent do to determine if there’s a snow day or not?

“I get up on snow days usually around 3:30 or 4 o’clock in the morning, I start making phone calls to the city and the maintenance staff because they are the ones ploughing the streets,” said Assistant Superintendent Fred Bolden.” I’ll ask them how the roads are doing and I’ll look at the weather forecast around 4:30, 5 o’clock I will start driving around and seeing how the streets look, also around that time there is a collection of other superintendents that will all communicate with each other. We see how things are looking in each district and usually about 5:30 I make the call if there is a snow day.”

Frazier also said that sometimes the temperature is too cold for students to walk to school or wait for the bus. It is all about student safety.

While it is true that snow days are safety precautions, they are also thoroughly enjoyed by the students.

“I love snow days because I get to catch up on my homework or hang out with my family,” Senior Sabriya Zaman said.

Even though we kids see snow days as fun days to do whatever we want, there are serious safety reasons for them.

“Snow days are something I like to call a necessary evil, snow days are there because we want to keep kids safe, but the kids have to go to school and parents have to go to work, and our job as a school district is to make sure kids go to school, so we try to avoid them if we can but we also want to make sure everyone is safe coming to school,” Bolden said.

But even with this day being a necessary evil, the snow days are used by teachers and students alike as a way to get more work done.

“[On a snow day I] mostly grade papers, but why I love it is that I get caught up on all the work on the snow day,”  said SHS English teacher Nanci Bush. “I feel like [when I return to school] I can just enjoy the day with the kids because there’s not so much pressure to get grading done.”

Zaman also said that she tries to make good use of her day off school by doing work on her speech for speech team, or  working on her college applications.

Students love to wake up to find out there’s no school. Leading them to do anything to get a day off. Students will participate in the superstitions  like sleeping with a spoon under your pillow

“I think it’s a cute thing for little kids to do,” Bush said. ”My sister [totally] tricked my nephew that way, she already knew there was a snow day because she’s a teacher and knew that school had already been called off, so they then went through all the motions and the next day told him yep, there’s a snow day.”

Sometimes when school is called off people see it as a mistake because it looks so nice out later on, but there is in fact a very important reason.

“There have been days were it looks nicer outside, but the snow was very bad, but by the end of the day it looked nice, and we could have had school, but in reality, if the weather’s bad during the time we’re getting to school that’s the time where kids could get hurt, and we don’t want that,” Bolden said.

 

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