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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  • by Anonymous on Feb 16, 2010 at 03:00 PM
    Anonymous,at 10:49 do you live around Howe, if not keep your comments to yourself, because you do not know what you are talking about!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 16, 2010 at 08:49 AM
    Howe Student-how apt the name, student, is for you! I'm from up North, and yes, this last storm was a little baby storm, but you're saying you've been cruising the freeways at normal speed with no problems? well that how it goes...until you have a problem and spin out of control and smash into someone else possibly killing or maiming them (just ask that boy that wrecked the suburban texting a couple of weeks ago, he didn't have any problems at all until the funk hit the fan)! go back to driving school. when the roads are bad-slow down!
  • by Bulldog Student Location: Howe on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:00 PM
    To Bulldogs Mom's child, if you hit me, I hope your parents have a lot of money because I will make sure I sue you for all your parents are worth, Country boy student, I live out in the country and drive into Sherman and Howe and did it on Friday and had no probably driving, maybe you should go back to driving school if you can't handle the snow!!!
  • by Howe Student Location: Howe on Feb 13, 2010 at 06:08 PM
    I know what it was like to drive on country roads and back roads. I live out in the middle of nowhere in S and S, and I drive to Howe everyday for school. I also drive a truck with rear wheel drive. It is actually not that hard to control. It does not take a brain surgeon to drive a truck in the snow. To Bulldog Mom's child... you obviously do not deserve to get a drivers license. Just do us all a favor and stick to riding the bus.
  • by logan on Feb 13, 2010 at 01:08 PM
    i would have got out to drive if my car worked and then just found out for myself how the roads wuz
  • by Country boy student Location: TOMBEAN on Feb 13, 2010 at 01:06 PM
    You guys should drive out on the country roads before you jump so quick sayin the dang roads aint bad.
  • by idiot student with the previous posting Location: Howe on Feb 13, 2010 at 01:03 PM
    my moms the bulldog mom see her previous postings. it don't matter niether of us can drive good on dry or snow and rain cover roads. we should probably get a truck so when we hit one of you dopes maybe you will wish for a snow day next time....duh
  • by Anonymous Location: howe on Feb 13, 2010 at 05:19 AM
    Yeah Bonny, A Jack in the Box or Taco Bell is just what we need in Howe. We have Sonic, Wyomings, & Crancys.
  • by Howe Location: Howe on Feb 12, 2010 at 07:55 PM
    Howe Student, I agree with you 100% but it was not just Howe School, all the schools around Howe, the roads were not bad, and yes we could have started at 10:00 this morning!
  • by Howe Student Location: Howe on Feb 12, 2010 at 04:30 PM
    It is funny that Howe cancelled school today, but over 100 students showed up at the high school for a huge snow ball fight. Obviously, the roads were not bad at all. I personally would have rather had school today. Of course, it was fun having a snow day, but it is not fun making it up on the Bad Weather Days later on. North Texas drivers just need to stop freaking out everytime a snow flake falls. It does not mean to drive 30 mph on the highway. Yesterday when Howe got out at 1, I drove the speed limit on Highway 75, and had absolutly no problems. This morning, I drove to the high school for the snow ball fight; doing the speed limit again on 75. It is really not that bad. Other drivers just need to stop freaking out because they think the world is going to end from 1 snow flake. If you can't drive in this weather, you don't need to be driving at all.
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