To Snow Day or To Not Snow Day: That is the Decision


Mr. Tallman, Special Contributor

Although most students probably hope otherwise, I hope that we never have to cancel school.   Obviously that is wishful thinking, especially since there has been so much written about the predictions of a harsh winter.   Canceling school is always an inconvenience, especially for our working families, and I wanted to share with you what goes on when making the decision, and how everyone can be informed.   It’s one of the more challenging decisions that I have to make, and I am always reminded about some wise advice given to me when I first took on the position:  “Make the best decision that you can….and know that you’re wrong.”   I’ve thought it was spot on because no matter what decision I make, I know there will be people that will disagree.   That being said, there will be a time or two that I DO make the wrong call.  For example, if I cancel the night before, by the time 7:00 AM rolls around, the roads could be looking pretty passable, just as they were last week when school was canceled.  I know how canceling school can be a great inconvenience…the decision to do so is not taken lightly, and I’ll always err on the side of caution.

I thought I’d give a little insight into what the decision making looks like.  First, if I am able to, I try to make the decision the night before in order to give families enough time to plan accordingly.   I’m not always able to do this, and often have to make the decision early in the morning.   When this happens, I get up at 4 AM and begin driving the roads.  Often times, our main roads are relatively clear, but our rural roads, where many of our students reside, are not.  These make for difficult decisions and I am often on the phone with area superintendents, as well as our bus garage.  When the decision is made to cancel school, I will immediately post on Twitter, our district Face Book page, and the TV stations in that order.   I will then schedule a robocall home around 5:30 AM.   I realize that it is early, but there are many families that have long commutes and must be notified as early as possible to make arrangements.  I will follow the same procedures if I cancel the night before but scheduling the robocall immediately.

Please note:   It doesn’t take much these days to create a fake social media post.   If you have any doubts, please check my Twitter account, as well as the Face Book account, AND look at the various news channel scrollers.   If you do not see the cancellation listed in any of those places, please assume that school will be in session.    There will be NO cancellation without it being listed on those sites and a robocall being made.

Lastly, if school is NOT canceled, and you disagree with the decision and believe it’s safer for your child to stay home, please feel free to call the school office.  They WILL be excused.