sNOw days off


courtesy of Olivia Beargie, Elisa Fridholm, Lily McNichols

Most students, like Melina Slone and Jessica Joy, found ways to enjoy themselves during the district wide snow day on Feb. 9.

Multiple inches of snow lead to district wide school closures and a makeup day  

On Feb. 8, District 86 called a snow day for Friday Feb. 9 due to adverse weather conditions.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, between six and 14 inches of snow fell overnight in the Chicagoland area.  Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law cancelled school to ensure the safety of students and staff. This was the first time school had been cancelled since January of 2015.

courtesy of Olivia Beargie, Elisa Fridholm, Lily McNichols
Elisa Fridholm did not mind the cold during the snow day.

“[Cancelling school] is the worst part of my job,” Dr. Law said. “I always have to take into consideration the safety of the students and staff.”

There are many other factors that go into deciding if school will be held. Dr. Law explained how the district considers how if school is in session, how many students will be able to attend? It also has to be considered if the buildings and grounds crew is able to keep up with the snow fall and if it’s possible for the parking lots and sidewalks to be cleared and stay clear. Often times the snow drops at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to maintain roads and parking lots around the school.

“It’s one of those decisions where you don’t know if you’re making the right one in the moment. Now we have perfect information as to whether we should have cancelled or shouldn’t have, which I don’t have at the time when I’m trying to decide,” Dr.Law said.

Once it is decided that it is safer for students to remain at home, he later explained, decisions must be made for when the missed instructional day will be made up. This year it was decided that the snow day would be made up on Feb. 19.

courtesy of Olivia Beargie, Elisa Fridholm, Lily McNichols
With more than six inches of snow, many students’ pets played outside as well.

Despite that day being President’s Day, it was also marked as an emergency day, making it available for a makeup day. Dr. Law explained his reasoning for making up school that day as wanting to make up the day as close to the day students lost as a way to preserve instructional time.

Dr. Law said attendance was down 20 percent on Feb. 19. Many students had already made plans for that three day weekend before the district announced it would b e a snow day make up. 

“Snow days are nice, they’re a good break from the grind, the problem is that you have to make them up,” said Mr. Naisbitt, a social studies teacher.

Mr. Naisbitt said that when school gets cancelled, teachers have to be flexible in changing their curriculum around to make up for the time students missed. He also noticed a sharp drop in attendance within his classes on President’s Day, estimating that about one third of his students were missing.

Many students, like sophomore Taylor Ward, were unable to make it to school on the makeup day due to previously made vacation plans.

“I actually wanted to have school that Friday because I knew that we were going to make it up on President’s day and I didn’t want to miss a day of school,” Ward said.

Dr. Law said he is hoping for the day in the future when he can schedule ‘Virtual Learning Days’ where students are able to use their chromebooks to interact with their teachers online during a snow day to avoid making up the day physically.

“Students can sleep in and do their work from home and the learning continues while everyone is safe,” Dr.Law said.