As has been reported, the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board is considering keeping schools open for students and staff after canceling bus service due to inclement weather, and is asking for public input through a survey.
This survey is certain to draw some participation, as school cancellations is always a contentious issue at this time of year. Some parents grow frustrated when cancellations seem premature, and they are faced with making inconvenient child care arrangements while the sun is shining and the weather seems fine.
On the other hand, others are concerned when their children are expected to travel over snow-covered roads in whiteout conditions, like they did one day this week. Instead of announcing a closure in the morning, the decision was made to close the schools at noon, thereby sending students over poor road conditions twice that day.
Some will argue that it is the parents' ultimate responsiblity to determine if it's safe to send their child to school. But parents don't know how bad conitions are until they go out on the roads themselves. The school board pays people to make these determinations.
But there is another concern that some winters are worse than others, and too many cencellations could result in too much missed time in the classroom. We wish to offer a solution.
The local school board sets aside a certain number of days for inservices in the run of a school year. Students do not attend school on these days, which are presumably geared towards teacher development. Why not reserve these days for storm days? That way, both purposes are served without disrupting classroom work. If it turned out to be a quiet winter with few weather cancellations, then those inservice days could be made up for during March break.
You might not see this option on the survey.