Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Too Cold for School?

I’ve been a part of k-12 public education for over thirty years (I’m counting my years as a student) and this is the first year that I ever remember school being disrupted because of cold weather.

Beginning Sunday, I noticed on Twitter, several of my teacher friends in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois posting about no school on Monday and thought it must be pretty cold up there for school to be cancelled, thankful that I lived in balmy Virginia.

Then, Monday afternoon the e-mail came. Albemarle County schools will operate on a two-hour delay tomorrow due to cold weather. Later in the day, surrounding counties started announcing delays and even closings because of the weather.

Whenever schools alter schedules, people complain. “Who ever heard of closing school because it’s too cold” they say. Well, my son (using the new technology he got for Christmas) pointed out this morning that temperatures in central Virginia are colder than the North Pole, and our good friend Al Roker noted that some of the states mentioned above are seeing temperatures lower than the South Pole.

Have you ever seen those Arctic science stations? Me neither, but they’re built to deal with this kind of temperature extremes, and people don’t usually hang out there for the long term either.

Sometimes extreme things happen. When they do, we deal the best we can. It’s not often the forecast for my hometown is Sunny with a high of 15 degrees, but today, that’s what we get.

And we thought technology was the disruptive force in 21st century education. Score one for mother nature.

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