Freezing Temperatures Bring Debates About Two-Hour Delays

We are far into the heart of winter and with it comes bitter, freezing temperatures. A topic commonly debated when these frigid temperatures come around is two-hour delays. This year, the school has already had one two-hour delay and even a cancellation based on low temperatures.

What some students may not be aware of is how much thought and deliberation truly goes into to calling a two-hour delay. There is a tab on Edline labeled “Two Hour Delays FAQ” and on the document are questions frequently asked about two-hour delays along with answers from our superintendent, Dr. Ralston. I e-mailed asked Dr. Ralston which source, out of the ones listed as answers on the document, he believes impacts decision. Ralston wrote¬†that he “always calls the police officer on patrol to find out the road conditions, in there are accidents, have the roads been treated by the crews, etc.”

This is the wind chill chart Dr. Ralston references to make his decision to or to not call a two-hour delay.

 

He was also asked if he thought having too many two hour delays could affect the school negatively and, if so, why. Dr. Ralston replied, “When we have a two-hour delay, we shorten classes substantially. The teachers have prepared their lessons for the regular time, so they are forced to adapt the lesson. A shortened time does have an impact on instruction and learning.”

Lastly, I wanted to know if he thought two-hour delays had an effect on students’ behavior/mood throughout the day. He answered, “I can’t say that I am aware of any major negative effects with behavior.¬† Besides some students just being out of their regular routine, I can’t imagine having a delay causes an escalation of student discipline.”

Two-hour delays are very controversial. There are some two-hour delays that are self-explanatory and work out fine. However, there are some days where the absence of a two-hour delay is questionable. One of those days was Wednesday, January 3rd. The morning was bitterly cold with a windchill in the single digits. However, the main point of debate was the fact that many other schools in the area had a delay. The day didn’t get any warmer as some classrooms in the school were as cold as 40 degrees.

Overall, two-hour delays excite any student but can also be a point of argument when they are not called.

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