2 Hour Delays vs. Closed? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 06:43 AM
 
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Argh, 2 hour delays are the worst.  All or nothing, please!

 

Both DH and I work full time.  If you call off school, I can call the sitter to come earlier or I can take them to work with me.  For a 2 hour delay, it just doesn't work, and often it makes it so that school is starting right in the middle of one of my own classes.  For kids that go to before care, they have a 2 hour delay to the start as well.  It's worst for them, since the phone call comes at 6:10 am, and some kids get to before school care at 7.  That gives families only about 45 minutes to scramble and make different plans.

 

And no, I wouldn't ever choose to keep my kids home on account of weather.  I'm a firm believer in the fact that one of the basic life skills I need to teach my kids is how to get around without a car safely and comfortably.  That includes dressing properly for all kinds of weather.  The only times I can imaging I wouldn't take them outside (a tornado maybe?), school would get called anyways.

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#3 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 06:44 AM
 
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We had a few snow days last year and then one 2 hour delay. It does throw off my whole morning when that happens, if I felt like it I would have issues keeping kids home instead of sending them in. 


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#4 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 07:00 AM
 
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I agree, I wish they'd cancel instead of 2 hour delays because it really does throw off the whole morning.  Instead of DH taking DS in to school on his way to work, I'd have to get the other two kids ready and bundled out and take *them* out in bad weather to drop of DS.  But 2 hour delays aren't new...I went to school in the 80's and 90's, and we had 2 hour delays a lot.

 

But, the absolute worse is the 2 hour delay when a blizzard is coming because inevitably, they'll release the students early as well.  So, you get them to school, get home, and then have to turn around soon after and go get them again.  We had that happen last year, and it sucked! :lol:


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#5 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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This was common when I was in school in the early 80s and 90s, too.


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#6 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

This was common when I was in school in the early 80s and 90s, too.


 

Just because it was common doesn't make it any easier.

 

In fact, I was vaguely aware of them when DD started kindergarten, and asked her wrap around care about it when they were talking about what they do on snow days.  They told me the district never called them, so not to worry.  Then the district called one, canceling kindergarten that day, and the wrap around care school (part of the district!) couldn't communicate to us the policy in time.  I took DD there and pretty much begged them to take her.  I had no other options in place since I'd been told not to worry about them.

 

And I never had a snow day or a two hour delay growing up.  I did have one earthquake day...

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#7 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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I kept my dd home once because of weather when school was not cancelled.  It had nothing to do with dressing for the weather though, it was an inability to get her there!  The bus didn't get to our neighborhood because we live at the bottom of a small but steep hill that was covered in ice.  The bus slid down the hill and off the road.  No one was hurt but it was a huge traffic snafu and the entrances to our neighborhood were blocked because of the traffic.  It was actually blocked for several hours, neither DH nor I went to work either. 

 

It was 7* out this morning and a few districts had 2 hour delays.  Ours did not and I totally sent my high schooler out to the bus stop, and would have had she been in elementary school too.  But when I judge that it's too dangerous to drive, I am not going to put my kid at risk like that.  We live at the very edge of a large district, we are actually closer to the schools from the district next to us.  This means that we are a 20 minute DRIVE from her school, 10 from the elementary school.  Walking is not an option.

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#8 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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Argh, 2 hour delays are the worst.  All or nothing, please!

 

Both DH and I work full time.  If you call off school, I can call the sitter to come earlier or I can take them to work with me.  For a 2 hour delay, it just doesn't work, and often it makes it so that school is starting right in the middle of one of my own classes.  For kids that go to before care, they have a 2 hour delay to the start as well.  It's worst for them, since the phone call comes at 6:10 am, and some kids get to before school care at 7.  That gives families only about 45 minutes to scramble and make different plans.

 

And no, I wouldn't ever choose to keep my kids home on account of weather.  I'm a firm believer in the fact that one of the basic life skills I need to teach my kids is how to get around without a car safely and comfortably.  That includes dressing properly for all kinds of weather.  The only times I can imaging I wouldn't take them outside (a tornado maybe?), school would get called anyways.


ITA except for the last paragraph.

 

Two winters ago... oh lord, maybe three now, I was working a tax-season internship.  No days off.  For anything.  So the day there was a blizzard that canceled daycare, I piled DS into the car, strapped him into his seat, and hit the road to take him to the sitter (ten miles from our house).  We were most of the way there when a bus hit an icy patch and spun sideways across two lanes of traffic and then off the road.  Right in front of us.  That was probably the day I realized I was done with accounting.  Because what the HECK was I doing on the road with my baby in that weather?  I knew I shouldn't be driving, but I substituted my employer's judgment for mine, and it could have killed us.

 

Some school districts are great about calling off for weather, and some suck at it.  I'm not a wimp about weather.  I'll put the kids in warm clothes and take them out most days.  I don't stop jogging outside until it hits 0 degrees.  I know how to handle a car on bad surfaces.  But if I think the school system is being dumb, I'll call in and say the kids aren't coming.  If there's a situation that affects me but not the school (like serious flooding on the roads between us and it) the kids will stay home.  If there's something like a hurricane due in around noon, and school's not closed because they think they'll get the morning in at least, I may prefer to hold the kids at home (or take them inland to visit their grandparents) than go out after the wind kicks up to get them.

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#9 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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I keep my kids home if there is a 2 hour delay and the weather is still really bad. Otherwise I suck it up and go to work late.


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#10 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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Indeed, I work hard to teach my kids to get places on foot safely.  It's a priority in our family, and we've arranged our lives to make it possible.  That includes having school (and before that childcare) in place very near home. 

 

I recognize not everyone has made (or feels they could make) similar choices.

 

The fact of the matter is that there are many times when being on foot is safer.  Both examples above are times when driving was risky, not walking.

 

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#11 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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I have kept my kids home when the school was open due to weather.  We go to a private school that is in a different area then where we live.  I make the call, if *I* think it is too unsafe to drive then she stays home, walking and public transit is not an option.


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#12 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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Indeed, I work hard to teach my kids to get places on foot safely.  It's a priority in our family, and we've arranged our lives to make it possible.  That includes having school (and before that childcare) in place very near home. 

 

I recognize not everyone has made (or feels they could make) similar choices.

 

The fact of the matter is that there are many times when being on foot is safer.  Both examples above are times when driving was risky, not walking.

 



Actually, when you consider that most people walk near the roads rather than through farm fields and peoples yards, I would say that walking is just as dangerous, because that car that slides off the road can just as easily slide into someone walking. 

 

I am curious about where you live?  I find it a pretty rare thing in my neck of the woods, to be within walking distance of everything.  I don't know of any school districts that have all of their elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools all within walking distance of each other, so even if you live within walking distance of one of the schools, you still have to drive to the others.  The only exception being a few small rural areas where several grades are contained within one building, but then nothing else is within walking distance.

 

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#13 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Good grief.  I said I would go on any day the school was open.  The school is (in my opinion) hyper conservative, often calling off school or calling a 2 hour delay with little weather, or with snow early enough everything's clear.  That is not to say I would never, ever, choose to stay home.  I've never felt I'm putting myself or my kids in danger by going to school. 
 

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Actually, when you consider that most people walk near the roads rather than through farm fields and peoples yards, I would say that walking is just as dangerous, because that car that slides off the road can just as easily slide into someone walking. 

 

I am curious about where you live?  I find it a pretty rare thing in my neck of the woods, to be within walking distance of everything.  I don't know of any school districts that have all of their elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools all within walking distance of each other, so even if you live within walking distance of one of the schools, you still have to drive to the others.  The only exception being a few small rural areas where several grades are contained within one building, but then nothing else is within walking distance.

 

One's person's priorities shouldn't necessarily be another person's priorities...  And yes, geography matters.

 

I live in 1950's suburbia.  We have 5' tree lawns (= parking strip = extension depending on where you live) between sidewalks and the street where there are sidewalks along busy roads.  We live in a town that plows early and often.  They put down a brine to the streets before snow, and they start plowing early.  Our street did not have sidewalks before this year.  Several of my neighbors banded together to get the city to put them in this summer, lucking into ARRA money.  I continue to work with the city on a particularly dangerous intersection.

 

We live 1/3 mile to elementary, 1/2 mile to jr high, 1 mile to the high school, 3 miles to my office.  This location was chosen specifically to enable such walking.  We chose 1950s suburbia over 1980s suburbia because of many of these issues.
 

Note that not all my neighbors similarly judge the safety of our walk.  Not everyone thinks it's appropriate for a child to walk 1/3 mile when it's 0F.  The OP asked a question as to taking a day off for a two hour delay, and I wouldn't ever.  The fact of the matter is that I find the district much more conservative on such matters than I am.

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Good grief.  I said I would go on any day the school was open.  The school is (in my opinion) hyper conservative, often calling off school or calling a 2 hour delay with little weather, or with snow early enough everything's clear.  That is not to say I would never, ever, choose to stay home.  I've never felt I'm putting myself or my kids in danger by going to school. 
 

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Actually, when you consider that most people walk near the roads rather than through farm fields and peoples yards, I would say that walking is just as dangerous, because that car that slides off the road can just as easily slide into someone walking. 

 

I am curious about where you live?  I find it a pretty rare thing in my neck of the woods, to be within walking distance of everything.  I don't know of any school districts that have all of their elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools all within walking distance of each other, so even if you live within walking distance of one of the schools, you still have to drive to the others.  The only exception being a few small rural areas where several grades are contained within one building, but then nothing else is within walking distance.

 

One's person's priorities shouldn't necessarily be another person's priorities...  And yes, geography matters.

 

I live in 1950's suburbia.  We have 5' tree lawns (= parking strip = extension depending on where you live) between sidewalks and the street where there are sidewalks along busy roads.  We live in a town that plows early and often.  They put down a brine to the streets before snow, and they start plowing early.  Our street did not have sidewalks before this year.  Several of my neighbors banded together to get the city to put them in this summer, lucking into ARRA money.  I continue to work with the city on a particularly dangerous intersection.

 

We live 1/3 mile to elementary, 1/2 mile to jr high, 1 mile to the high school, 3 miles to my office.  This location was chosen specifically to enable such walking.  We chose 1950s suburbia over 1980s suburbia because of many of these issues.
 

Note that not all my neighbors similarly judge the safety of our walk.  Not everyone thinks it's appropriate for a child to walk 1/3 mile when it's 0F.  The OP asked a question as to taking a day off for a two hour delay, and I wouldn't ever.  The fact of the matter is that I find the district much more conservative on such matters than I am.



The bolded part is why I was asking.  The concept of being able to choose to live that close to everything is genuinely forgein to me.  I haven't every lived anywhere that you had the option to be able to walk to the park AND the grocery store, AND the school.  And I genuinely haven't ever known a district where all of the schools the child will progress through are all that close together.  I wasn't saying anything about anyone's choices or priorities in asking where you live, I was genuinely curious.  It's not that I have an issue with anyone who chooses that option, I just haven't ever seen an area where it WAS an option. 

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#15 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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When I was growing up, 2 hour delays were really common in the rural areas because it took them that long to plow the roads. I remember waking up to the list of "Albert Lea, 2 hours late and no morning kindergarten. Buses on plowed roads only. ... Waconia, 2 hours late and no morning kindergarten, buses on plowed roads only."

 

Here in Oregon they cancel school at the first hint of snow. It drives me NUTS, but I understand why they do it: Steep hills in some parts of the city, often there's a layer of ice, and they don't sand. They also own about 1 snow plow. The snow removal strategy is "wait until it melts". It works, but when we get a cold snap, we're off school forever. Honestly, I can drive in snow (I grew up in Minnesota, had my first driver's ed lesson after an 8" snow storm), but I won't here unless I have to. People here just don't know how to drive. They think that 4 wheel-drive = I can stop  on ice.

 

We had our first "2 hours late" at my university last week. I was very grateful for that, actually. It gave the roads time to melt, but we didn't miss a whole day of classes. Our kids' school was called off though.


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#16 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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This was common when I was in school in the early 80s and 90s, too.


 

Just because it was common doesn't make it any easier.



I didn't say it was easier, just that what is apparently a new thing to her was common where I grew up...a combination of old colonial homes/roads and 1950s suburbia, where you can walk some places but you risk being hit by a car.


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#17 of 31 Old 12-06-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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Here there are no school delays or closures.  It doesn't matter if it's -50 or blizzarding to the point you can't see, school is open.  The busses(which only affect those living in the country) don't run, but school is open. If you live in the city/town you are expected to be at school.  Our roads are icy 4-5months a year.

 

Growing up it was the same.  Dad would plow our road/yard to take us to school. we wanted to go even when we got older & it was no longer an 8hour play day & they made us work we wanted to go.  one year we had to crawl on our hands & knees to get out of our yard because Dad's tractor wouldn't start so the neighbors could pick us up & drive us the 1 mile to the bus so we could get to school. After Dad got some ether to start the tractor he plowed the driveway & road, parked the car in it & took pictures. There was 8feet of snow piled up on both sides of the car.

 

There are bylaws in place for how long the plows can wait before they have to be out there.

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#18 of 31 Old 12-07-2010, 03:05 AM
 
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Dd attends a private school (and yes, we chose that specifically for its language immersion, which is more of a priority for us than location).  Their policy is either the day is canceled or they have "come when you can get here safely".  The child care is open at the usual time because the care-givers are university students that live just a few blocks from the school and can walk.

 

To answer the question, yes, I've kept dd out of school for weather.  We live almost an hour from the school and I'm not going to risk her health or life for a day of school.  I'll judge for myself.  I don't need the school making the decision for me.  I know what kind of weather *I* am comfortable driving in.

 

Moving closer is not an option nor desirable (it's in the middle of the city and we like our space).  If we lived close to the school, we'd no longer be able to afford it, anyway, so it's a moot point.  Even for the public schools in our small town, walking is not a viable alternative most of the time for most people due to where the schools are located (the high school, for example is miles away from all but a handful of homes and the elementary schools are all clustered together on the busiest highway in the area).

 

ETA: I grew up mostly in the 70s and we took off school *a lot*.  Once we were out for 2.5 weeks (the big Midwest Blizzard of '78).  I lived 5 blocks from the school and it took me 2 hours to find my way home in the snow.  One kid got lost in the snow on his way home (less than 1/2 a mile) and lost several toes from frostbite.  Several kids were found wandering around in the blizzard and were "rescued" by volunteers with 3-wheelers.  A few people did not even make it home, but had to take refuge with friends that lived closer to the school.  Walking is *definitely* not always the better answer in severe weather... even if the school thinks it's O.K. to hold classes.  They thought they could get through the school day before the weather hit, but before they could even scramble to get classes dismissed, there were several inches of snow and 0 visibility.  Even schools can make bad decisions.

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#19 of 31 Old 12-07-2010, 06:43 AM
 
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Can I just say that these posts make me even more thankful to live where I do???  thumb.gif

 

We rarely get snow (once a year, if that, and it's less than an inch).  Everything closes.  Schools, churches,  doctor's offices.  People freak out.  "Why, when I lived in Minnesota, we walked to school in blizzards!!"  But, they forget that no one here knows how to drive in snow, it causes massive traffic, the county might (might!) own one plow, and it's just so. much. easier to cancel everything.  It'll melt by evening, anyway.  But people literally wig out over being forced to take one day off mid-winter.  If they would stop and remember that it's only one day per season, they'd calm down a whole lot.

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#20 of 31 Old 12-07-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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I hate delays. DD1 spends the whole two hours or whatever, hanging around the house driving me crazy asking, "is it time to go yet? Is it time to go yet?" And I can't imagine how it is for working parents-- especially parents who can't just call out of their jobs willy-nilly. That must be really difficult.

The OP mentioned online schoolwork-- but what about if there's a family without Internet in their homes? Or if the Internet isn't working properly-- my cable internet often goes out in bad weather. I think that online schoolwork is unfair in light of these issues.

FWIW, though-- the discussion about being able to walk places is so interesting to me. I think it depends on what area of the country you live in. I grew up in a one-square-mile town on the East Coast, that didn't even have school buses because it was expected that children would walk. I walked to school through the eighth grade (I didn't walk to high school because I got a scholarship to a private high school out of town). Had I gone to the public high school, I would have walked there, too. We could walk everywhere-- to parks, to the beach, to grocery stores, to the mall, to the doctor's office, everywhere. And this is not the stuff of some misty past-- my mom still lives there, and it's still that way today. Where I live now is a totally different story-- we can't walk ANYWHERE. I can easily see that if you've always lived in places that are like where I am now, you'd find the idea of being able to walk everywhere a little unbelievable. But there are lots of places where people get along just fine without cars!

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#21 of 31 Old 12-07-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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Two hour delays are a nightmare for parents and around here they can go from a delay to closed with little warning. One year they had already begun to pick the high school kids up when they cancelled and had to go around dropping kids off. Thankfully, this was high school, so the kids could be home alone. Imagine if it had been school age children?

 

This year there have already been canceled schools and mega snow problems. Walking and getting around, even in areas where it is walkable, doesn't mean it is safe or wise to do so.

 


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#22 of 31 Old 12-07-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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As far as I'm aware, our city doesn't use two-hour delay methods.  School is cancelled if we get a huge storm, but that has been very rare here.  If you can't walk to school, you take public transportation, which consists largely of underground subways so snow removal isn't as big of an issue.

 

That being said, even if there were two hour delays, I would personally prefer it over complete closure, as I normally can be fairly flexible about when I get to work.  I do prefer to go into the office over trying to get work done at home, so a delay would ultimately be better for me than a closure.  I can see, however, how that would be a problem for those who need to be at work at a given time despite school delays. 


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#23 of 31 Old 12-07-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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We sometimes have two hour delays and sometimes cancellations, depending on the weather. For another perspective that I haven't seen mentioned here yet - our school system feeds about 1/3 of the kids reduced lunch. They will do whatever they can to get that food into the kids because for some of them, it is their one reliable meal of the day. So, if they can be open, they will do it.

 

We're lucky that my job is flexible enough to handle the occasional snow day or late start. But we're really lucky that we don't depend on that lunch. Some families do.

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#24 of 31 Old 12-07-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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 Two hour delays are a nightmare for parents and around here they can go from a delay to closed with little warning. One year they had already begun to pick the high school kids up when they cancelled and had to go around dropping kids off.

 

This is why the schools here do NOT close.  They HAVE to be open incase even 1 child shows up.

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#25 of 31 Old 12-09-2010, 08:30 PM
 
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We rarely do delays here because on our rural roads, if it's bad enough to not start on time, people are probably not going to be able to get out and where they need to go in under 2 hours. But every school I've ever worked in seemed to prefer delays whenever possible because then you don't have to make them up. As a kid we had snow make-up days built in to the calendar, but the schools I know in MA and ME just tack the snow days on to the end of the year. There have been years when we are still in school the last week of June because of the snow days. If they had been delays, we wouldn't be making them up in June!
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#26 of 31 Old 12-12-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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We have a fair number of 2 hour delays.  I understand why they are annoying, but as a teacher in a low income school, two hour delays mean you still get lunch -- that's huge for many of our kids.  I have no problems with a parent keeping their child home on those days, but understand that we're staying open because some kids need us, not to be annoying.

 

In my district there are no buses other than special ed, so many kids walk or take the public buses.  A big point in 2 hour delays is keeping kids off the streets for rush hour.  They'd be safe in a car, but walking can be really hazardous.

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#27 of 31 Old 12-13-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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It's important to consider, too, that opening on time means teachers have to be there on time. And in many places, the teachers are coming from farther away than the students, and have their OWN kids to get to school.
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#28 of 31 Old 12-13-2010, 04:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

It's important to consider, too, that opening on time means teachers have to be there on time. And in many places, the teachers are coming from farther away than the students, and have their OWN kids to get to school.


Yup!  My husband is a teacher.  Today both of us have a delays.  Dh leaves for work by 5:15 every morning.  The call for a delay came in at 5:37.  Our delay rolled in around the same time. For me, I'm a university professor, I am not teaching this term, but I have another post at the university and the delay is very aggravating. It messes up my whole day.  A cancel would be better, but it's not that bad here. We have snow and the roads are a little slick.  If you take your time, you'll get there.

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#29 of 31 Old 12-14-2010, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I decided that if the roads/weather are bad by me I will call the kids off regardless of what the school(in another city) is doing. Anytime I call my kids off (sick ,weather,or whatever) it is unexcused anyway unless I take them to the doctor. I always worried about too many days absent.Always drove them to school even when the roads were bad. I am not going to do that anymore.

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#30 of 31 Old 01-05-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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I'm also in Ohio and have only 3 snow days.  I wouldn't keep my kid home because of the weather.  Our school system is pretty conservative and I think they delay or call off school when they really don't need to.  I'm a sahm, so a 2 hour delay actually means we get to sleep in a bit, so I don't mind it.  What really annoys  a lot of people around here is when they put us on a 2 hour delay and then change it to school closed.  I know that causes a lot of problems for people.


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