Wednesday, January 26, 2011

it's snowing again

And school's closed. Again.

Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE the snow. I don't even mind having the kids home with me for a day here and there. The excitement of a snow day is fun.

I've lived in four different states in my life, including the Midwest and the snowy state of Michigan, and I've never seen so many school snow days ever.

This makes 9 school days canceled for us because of snow and/or ice this winter... 7 of those being in just the last two and a half weeks.
They built in a cushion of 4 snow days to our school calendar.
We're now having to make up 5 more days, so they've cut out two days we had scheduled off in February (a conference day and Presidents' day) and have now tacked three days (and counting) on to the end of the year.
It's getting a little ridiculous.

You guys.
It's not like we're getting feet of snow.
We get like an inch. Maybe two.
I understand the whole "Nashville just isn't prepared for snow the way other cities are who get it more often". I'm from Portland, which is even less prepared than Nashville. I get that.

What I don't get is why the entire county has school called because of it.
We don't really have school districts here, it's just divided by counties. They're simply refered to as "Williamson County schools" or "Davidson County schools", etc. Davidson County, where Nashvillians reside, covers over 526 square miles. That includes several dozen cities and communities, just some of which are; Antioch, Belle Meade, Bellevue, Bellshire, Bordeaux, Berry Hill, Donelson, Forest Hills, Goodlettsville, Hermitage, Inglewood, Joelton, Lakewood, Madison, Oak Hill, Old Hickory, Pasquo and Whites Creek.
Where we live? Is almost an hour from some of these places. That's a lot of area.
And it's 140-some-odd schools.
That's a lot of kids. In a lot of different areas.
And we all run on the same call for weather and road conditions.

Two weeks ago, when the kids had school called for the whole entire week... our roads were clear by Tuesday-- Wednesday at the latest. Yet they called school for the whole rest of the week. Because some side streets and school parking lots clear across on the other side of town from our schools were still slick. The areas and weather conditions are so diverse here I cannot believe we are all connected to the same call. One side of town can have 4 inches of snow or one corner of the area can have ice covered everything and the another can by totally dry.

Where I come from, schools were divided into smaller districts for just this reason. My school district growing up had just three (now they have five) high schools. Portland and the surrounding suburbs are made up of 12 different school districts, each of which only have a handful of high schools.
(Nashville and Portland are actually very similar in population)
Our "district" (county) here in Nashville operates under one district and has 25 high schools spread out over many miles.

So when some roads up in Joelton, 40 miles away from us, are icy but our roads are clear; we don't have school.

Another frustrating reason they have so many snow days here is because they don't consider delayed starts which I do not understand. They say it's because there are so many Magnet schools here and many of those students use public transportation which just gets all sorts of messed up when there's snow. So because the district thinks a 2-hour-delay would possibly be too confusing and a hassle for the Magnet school students, they call a whole day if the morning roads are unsafe. What a waste. Especially when our snow can easily be gone by noon.

Our county is really easy to divide up... there are two major highways splitting it right into quarters. It's not like they need to divide up the district... just divide it into smaller mini-districts for inclimate weather days!

I really hope all these (unnecessary for most of us) snow days this year has the school district reconsidering the way they do things.

/End Rant.


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