by SKYLAR STIMSON '22
Now that schools have the ability to easily pivot between in-person and remote learning, many students have been asking the question: are snow days a thing of the past?
I talked to Dr. Thomas about what goes on for a snow day to happen and if we will have any more of them. Keep reading to learn about the process!
In the winter, Dr. Thomas, Mr. Moran, and Ms. Utecht watch the weather alerts closely. If they see that the weather looks like it is going to be bad, they agree to look for a text from Dr. Thomas between 5:00 and 5:15 AM. Dr. Thomas checks the weather and consults with Mrs. Kramer and the SUA facilities team. They also gather data on the conditions of local roads, especially those surrounding SUA’s campus. Once Dr. Thomas has decided (to either delay school or call it off entirely), she puts out a group text to the SUA administration to inform them of her decision. Dr. Thomas also texts other Catholic high school principals.
The final decision must be made by 5:45 AM so that Dr. Thomas can prepare the OneCall text notification, website alert, and contact local TV stations. The majority of the decision takes place between 4:45 AM and 5:35 AM.
Have they ever made the wrong decision?
After asking about the process, I asked if they had ever made the wrong call. Dr. Thomas explained that they always try to make the best and safest decisions. She said that a few years back, they decided to cancel a Saturday leadership event the night before. It turned out that the weather was fine the next day and that some students felt that the decision was made prematurely. It was better to be safe than sorry.
Do we even have days built in our schedules for snow days?
Ohio law states that we need to be in session for a minimum number of hours. For grades 7-12 it is 1060 hours that is need to be in school and SUA scheduled more than the minimum number of hours, so we do have built in time for snow days.
Covid-19 and online learning
Dr. Thomas says that if SUA is scheduled for in-person classes, and we have bad weather, we will have a snow day. The second time this happens school will be remote learning. If we have bad weather on an online day, it will carry on as planned. So, though having a few snow day is a possibility, we will unfortunately not have as many as we did in previous years.