Making the call: When to cancel school

By: Maddie Garrett Email
By: Maddie Garrett Email

HOWE, TX – It’s hard to get students to stay in the classroom on snow days when they would much rather be outside throwing a few snow balls. But the real challenge is for school administrators deciding whether to let students out early or cancel school all together.

The first step is for superintendents, maintenance directors and a few others to go out and asess the road conditions. On days like Thursday, they drove around in the morning looking at bridges, overpasses and country roads.

Then it's time to make the call, and on Thursday for most schools it was the decision to close school early. Howe schools were some of the first to announce an early release.

"We try to get the word out to parents, we notify the media obviously, put it on our website, try to get the kids home safe,” said Howe High School Principal Blake Stiles.

For students, any kind of snow day is a good one.

"Well usually it's just really exciting, you don't see it that often so it's really exciting and it's cool to go outside and see it,” said Howe High School student Gretchen Debner.

For the younger kids, it’s time for snow ball fights and snowmen.

"I like it cause I get to go home and play in the snow and then we get to go to school late tomorrow so I get to sleep in,” said Dillingham Elementary sixth grader Rebecca Petty.

But for Stiles, there are announcements to be made, getting all students home, and questions to answer.

"The phone rings off the hook, are you going to be letting out early, that's the main questions that we get,” said Stiles.

Stiles said a late start or early release is better than a whole day off because the school can't count the attendance day if students aren't there for at least four hours.

"If you can be here from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. we feel good about coming into school,” said Stiles.

And while administrators might have to stick around until late in the day, kids get a free pass out of class.

"I’m going to play in the snow with my dog and then me and my friend are going to go and play in the snow around our neighborhood,” said Petty.

And because temperatures are supposed to dip below freezing later tonight, many schools like Sherman I.S.D. have already announced a late start tomorrow.

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