by John M
@rps_schools : Schools will be closed tomorrow, Tues., Jan,. 21, due to inclement weather. 12-month employees should report on time.
Forecasts are predicting 3-6 inches of snow for the Richmond area.
We just make them weaker and weaker…don’t we?
I’m not sure what you’re saying.
The people who’s job it is to know these things says that we will be having dangerous weather tomorrow afternoon. The logistics of getting thousands of students home safely say that the smart thing to do is call the school day off.
Less to do with making them weaker, more lawsuit aversion. I’m sure that if more employers had to transport people they would close also because they could be liable if something happens on the way to and from work in addition to what could happen on property.
Disclaimer: I am not a parent. That said, I totally understand safety but why not let them go half a day? Then at least they could get credit for a day spent at school since it is early in the snow season. Just my two cents.
A half day would have elementary kids getting out around 12:30. Counting bus travel time, the latest one could arrive home around 2. Too much of a chance that something could go wrong with snow starting around noon.
OK…here it goes. Not a single flake of snow to be found anywhere in the region yet, every school district is closed. Furthermore, the snow won’t hit with any significance until school is finished for the day. This is ludicrous. In the north, this NEVER happens. 3-4 inches of snow is insignificant and school would never be canceled unless combined with other circumstances. Buses travel, cars move and everything functions as normal.
There is probably a certain amount of peer pressure that school administrators feel where determining the open/close status of schools. “So why are we open when these others have closed”?
3 or 4 inches of snow is nothing and this hysteria is somewhat absurd.
To make the lawsuit argument comparison for business is absurd as well…businesses throughout the area will have employees on the road all day long. For businesses that have sales, delivery, or service personnel–do you think they shut down? Absolutely not. Exactly what is the difference between this and school buses?
This attitude is certainly not helping these kids in any way–especially in the educationally challenged RPS. Schools should be open and most would attend. In other areas of the country the statement is made that if you don’t feel safe traveling in the snow-then don’t but everything move ahead as usual.
Is what these kids would pick up in one single day of school worth even a fraction of a fraction a percent chance of serious injury. I agree with the comments calling it ludicrous if this were a critical function. One day of school is not.
Also, school buses are a lot harder to drive in the snow than people realize. Having grown up in a place with hour long rides to school, I’ve been caught in spots where school wasn’t cancelled quickly enough to allow buses to get us all home in time. It’s a scary ride when you take a front heavy and long vehicle on even a bit of snow.
That’s just it. You are comparing the north to us. They have a lot more resources dedicated to snow removal. We’d go about our day if an inch of rain fell, but LA would stop if that happened. And there are several businesses that stop transportation when there is bad weather, but remain open.
Alex, thanks for the bus mention. I drove a bus in Charlottesville and got stuck in snow and slid around. If my kid rode the bus there is no way I would let her ride in icy weather. As a child I remember a couple of close calls on school buses too.
The Richmond area has plenty of resources to clear snow. It’s just that they need to set up the trucks with plows and sanding equipment. In the north, they have dedicated equipment for snow removal. It’s not just one day of school here and there. School will probably be cancelled tomorrow and God forbid even on Thursday. There is Nothing going on today and won’t happen until later in the day (they’re even scaling the forecast back now)> School is out today for no reason at all. When all is said and done, these kids will have lost a almost a week of school for a non-issue. @LB…your example of businesses scaling back is rare and an exception. As a business owner here in Richmond, I don’t know of one single business that does this. The people who are afraid to go out in the snow are handled by exception but the business is open and moving forward as it would normally. The same applies to schools, if you don’t feel comfortable attending, then don’t but school moves on. Most of the kids would be in class. I’m certain that this creates additional expense to the city and counties as well. Even though school can be made up at a later date, many folks are going to be on the payroll far longer than they normally would and creating unnecessary expense.
Furthermore, this is just a bad example to set for kids in general—just grow em soft and weak and let the government take care of em.
@9 – is there anything different about how we are “growing” them today than in the past? VA has always been slack about calling school off. I don’t think anything has changed really.
Are you saying Northerners are better because they don’t call school?
We probably could add a couple days worth of instruction time to the calendar if we kept the kids ten minutes later and then had the buses drive 20 mph faster taking them home. Sure it’s riskier but we’ll get them tougher and smarter.
If you see the flaw in my suggestion, you should also realize why gambling with snow is stupid…
There was an excellent short article on Slate this morning explaining why it is better to cancel, especially in poorer communities. Basically, some parents, myself included, will not send kids to school with the hint of bad weather. So you have kids that are now behind that day’s worth of schoolwork. So then they have to play catch up, which is not good if the kid is already behind. That does not apply to us, because my kid is towards the top in her class, plus I am willing to have assignments emailed to and from teachers. But I’m also the parent that if my child has a fever type disease, I do not send them back to school for 3 days after the illness is gone out of respect for the other kids/teachers and I’ll pick up/drop off assignments.
I am lucky, because I can work from home if I need to, but most working moms cannot. Closing the school often becomes a crisis for working parents trying to find care for the day or taking the day off. And, if you have already had to take some days off because of sickness or other appointments, it becomes even more tricky.
@11 How do you feel about all that snow on the ground? What I am saying is that RPS as a whole has so many issues to deal with.–canceling school when there’s not a flake on the ground should not be a consideration. I’m not saying Northerners are better–they’re just better educated than what RPS is producing. The better part was you trying to put words in my mouth.
If this were just snow I’d completely agree with Laura. However, all this stuff is going to freeze. I’m from the north as well and actually learned to drive during the winter, so I can handle snow. Ice? Not so much, and particularly around here. I have an all-wheel-drive SUV and after last January’s ice storm I was slowly driving down East Franklin Street on my way to work, hit the brakes lightly towards the bottom … and promply slid through the 25th Street intersection. If any car had been coming it would have hit me. Now I know to take Broad Street.
Laura you’re right on.I think it’s foolish to cancel
school when there is no snow on the ground.