When is it too cool for school?


Ruby Garza

OHS student walking in to school during a -21°F windchill on Feb. 3

Ruby Garza, Writer

Recently, with the extremely cold weather, OHS has had a significant amount of snow days and late starts in a short span of time. After these snow days and late starts, many students and parents are full of questions regarding how future snowdays will work considering the district utilizes distance learning. 

Late starts and snow days happen due to unsafe weather conditions that would endanger students and staff. Although students spend most time indoors anyway, some still spend enough time outside that would cause them harm. Principal Kory Kath said, “First and foremost the superintendent of the school district makes the decision on whether to cancel school or not, it isn’t a school-to-school decision. Decision making for cold weather days says that if we are in a windchill warning, that means there is danger of being outside for more than 10 minutes at a time which would affect students who walk or wait for school buses and such.” Snow days are implemented so the district can easily protect their number one priority: the students. 

As the numbers of snow days and late starts increase, many are asking how these days off and future ones will affect the 2021-2022 school year schedule. As a school, OHS can have up to two days of emergency days off and still meet the required amount of hours to meet a full school year. Snow days, more often than not, are the reason why the school schedule usually adds a couple days to the school year, but now that the district implements distance learning, there may be a chance that added days will become a thing of the past. Mr. Kath said, “Snow days could have an effect on our ending date this year but we have something in place to try and support it. We as a school district are approved to be able to do distance learning days or online teaching because we have an online learning component to our district.” Instead of losing a day’s worth of work to a snow day, the district will plan on utilizing distance learning.

Snow days could have an effect on our ending date this year but we have something in place to try and support it.

— Mr. Kory Kath

The schedule for a distance learning snow day has been in the works for a while now. Mr. Kath has a general idea of what a distance learning snow day would look like. He said, “The plans for teachers is that we are asking them to post some initial directions or directives by 9:00 a.m. so students will be able to log in to Schoology by 9:00 and be able to see their work for the day.” Not only can teachers upload the course work for the day, they can decide on having resources open to students such as Google Meets. Mr. Kath said, “Teachers can offer something synchronized where they would be available to students through Google Meet, email or chat where students can have their live questions answered. A teacher could even have a presentation where they virtually teach their students over Google Meet.” An email to students and families regarding more information on the future handling of distance learning days will be sent in the week to come.

Snow day updates will always be shown on the OHS website as well as in emails that will be sent to students and parents.