Clarifying “winter break” 2.0

Displayed+is+how+much+snow+an+average+household+yard+in+the+QC+has+accumulated.+
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Clarifying “winter break” 2.0

Displayed is how much snow an average household yard in the QC has accumulated.

Displayed is how much snow an average household yard in the QC has accumulated.

Alyssa Paulson

Displayed is how much snow an average household yard in the QC has accumulated.

Alyssa Paulson

Alyssa Paulson

Displayed is how much snow an average household yard in the QC has accumulated.

Brenner Stickney, Business Manager

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In the past weeks Pleasant Valley has had five days off, two late starts, and one early out due to to the weather.  Many kids wonder what the criteria are for administration to cancel or delay school.

Dr. Jim Spelhaug states how the school district decides on school cancellations in snowy and cold conditions. “Snow:  always involves driving our district roads, particularly on the north end of the district with our director of operations.  Always involves consultation with the National Weather Service. Always involves communication with area superintendents, one of whom has consulted with the supervisor of county road crews. The standard is safe passage for our busses. Cold: the current standard is when the National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for significant aspects of the instructional day.

Spelhaug also shared how they decide between a school cancellation versus a late start. “It depends on how conditions are developing.  The best example might be late arriving snow. We believe roads can be cleared and we can have our lots and sidewalks ready to go with a late start but not a regular start. The same could be true for when a wind chill warning is set to expire.”=

Though these cancellations may bring relief to students at the surface, the cancellations can hurt students taking AP classes. The AP tests dates are the same from state to state, so they do not change.This means that students taking an AP test will be losing practice or learning days that could serve helpful to preparations for the test. AP Spanish teacher Stephanie Risius said it will hurt the kids, but they are smart enough to do well, “Not sure yet – but missing 5 days out of our curriculum will have an impact. It means I have to throw out material and rearrange things.  It does ramp up things a bit, but won’t be detrimental.”

To make up for the cancelled days, the school has removed the early outs that were scheduled for the first Wednesday of every month after February. Although this helps the school to reach the required hours set by the state, some teachers do not agree that this is the correct solution. Risius shared her insight as a teacher, “No, giving me 15 more minutes in a class period once a month does not make up for 5 full instructional days that we missed.”