Why haven't all school systems decided to close on Friday?
I’d like to know why all of the school systems in the Washington area haven’t already ordered schools closed for Friday.
My colleagues Michael Birnbaum and Jenna Johnson reported that school systems are weighing what to do on Friday because of the foreboding weather forecasts. But they're concerned about how many snow days they have in their schedules and how many have already been used.
I would like someone to tell me what the connection is between the number of snow days a school has built into its calendar and whether or not a school should close because of the weather.
The calculation seems fairly simple to me: If enough adults and kids can get to school SAFELY so that some learning is committed, keep the schools open. If there is concern that that will not happen, close them.
The forecasts are calling for a massive snow storm to hit tomorrow. There doesn’t seem to be any wiggle room in the forecast. School officials in Alexandria, Fairfax, Manassas City, Prince William, Spotsylvania and Stafford have already decided to close on Friday.
Why not close all the schools now and let parents have time to plan what they are going to do with their kids?
I’ve argued that school officials make decisions--sometimes with an overabundance of caution--with the best information they have at the time they have to decide. Sometimes they get it wrong. So what?
Others disagree, saying that Washingtonians are, essentially, babies and should toughen up. It may be true that they are babies and should toughen up, but I still don’t want people on the roads when it is obviously treacherous and they don’t have to be there.
So come on, the rest of you school officials. What are you waiting for?
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| February 4, 2010; 6:50 PM ET
Categories: Health | Tags: school closures
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