Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Hard Thing About What Our Schools Are Doing To Make Up All The Extra Snow Days

Thanks to Friday’s 7 inches, 2014 is now the snowiest winter on record in Indiana.  And thanks to the polar vortex, it ranks 11th as being the coldest winter in history. 

Our school district has piled up eight snow-days, thirteen two-hour-delays, and one early dismissal.

I’ve appreciated every call (well, at least the first two), and so have my kids.  We welcomed the extra sleep, if not the overabundance of family bonding, and I’ve appreciated that they put safety first. 

Like many officials, our school board has had to figure out how to make up the time.  

Beginning tomorrow and continuing through March, they have decided to add an hour to the end of each school day.

My teens will get home at 3:45 and my third grader at 4:50.

Although this isn’t my first choice for how to make up the time, I’ll do my best to support the school board and their difficult decision. 

I wonder, though, if any of them remember having small school-age children.  I wonder if they realize how hard they are about to make the lives of those poor souls who teach Kindergarten through 4th grade.

Can you imagine trying to escort an entire class of cherubs through the bewitching hour?  

Every mom knows exactly what I’m talking about. 

There is a tiny little clock built into each and every child that springs a sprocket at 4:00 without fail.  It’s so predictable it’s like magic.  Not the good kind of magic.  That’s why moms call it the bewitching hour.    

My youngest still melts down.  Do I blame him?  No.  By four o’clock, he’s tired.  He’s hungry.  He has to pee—badly—because he’s held it all day.  He hates the bus.  He hates the sun.  He hates his brothers.  He hates the car. He hates his homework.  He hates his classmates.  And he even hates me

Although the attitude will pass with a little TLC, it goes without saying that his ability to think rationally closes up shop at four.  

I’ve learned the hard way with my boys not to make eye contact or engage in unnecessary conversation when they get off the bus until they have hit the bathroom, had a snack, and kicked a ball.  In that order.

I was encouraged to see a note yesterday which said all elementary aged students would be given a snack during that last hour.  Thank the Lord someone must have talked to a MOM.

Still, pray for those poor teachers and bus drivers.  They’re going to need extra grace to get through the extended days of the next few weeks. 

On the other hand, for the first time in 16 and 1/2 years, I will be able to prepare dinner in blessed silence.  BLESSED SILENCE.

No interruptions.  No juggling homework, breaking up wrestling matches and conducting frantic searches for soccer gear while dinner sets off the smoke alarm.

I wonder what that will be like?  ;) 

What do you think of the idea of extending the school day to make up snow days?  How are schools in your area handling the missed time?


Mari said...

Wow - an hour is a lot to tack on. Our schools haven't said what they're doing yet. They have added time in the past, but only 20 minutes. I think I'd rather add days than that much time.

Christine said...

Going to a catholic school with no bus service has it's perks. We've only missed 5 days. Two don't have to be made up, and we have three snow days built into the schedule. We already went to two, so only one more to go (the day after Easter). Good luck with those long days! Have fun making dinner, though. They will be expecting masterpieces! :)

Christina said...

I not-so-fondly refer to that hour as unhappy hour. Those poor teachers...and kids... Surprisingly, we've had no snow days (even on the day that was -30* not counting windchill.) I'm kind of thankful because if they added another hour on the end of the day my little guy would be getting home after five when the bus ride was all said and done.

Adminswife said...

We have missed seven days so far. They are only required, by law, to make up any after six days missed. So, they are taking away one of our days off (the 28th) to make up for the seventh day they missed. That sure messed up my sons plans for a trip to another state. It also made finals a day later (which would help the poorer student). Since today is Wednesday - "it works for me."