Why Delay Calling Off School in Sioux Falls?
It's super cold today and school is closed in Sioux Falls and many other places.
We got the call at 8:39 P.M. Tuesday night that school was called off. I found this odd and was a little surprised.
The forecast for Wednesday really hasn’t changed since Monday morning. Why was this decision made so late, well after 8:00 PM, when families are settling in for the night? This should have been done sooner.
I'm not saying call it off on Monday, but a few hours sooner would have been nice.
If the Sioux Falls School District thought it would be too cold to have school at 8:00 PM then it should respect parents’ time and occupations and make the call sooner. Two or three hours would have made a hell of a difference - it would have been when moms and dads were getting kids ready for bed, trying to figure out where their kids are going to go tomorrow or if they have to, or are even able, to take the day off of work.
My wife and I are lucky. Crystal already had the day off so it wasn’t a big deal for us. Our jobs are flexible most of the time.
But if Tasha was already on vacation and my wife was the only manager working we’d have to start making phone calls at 8:39 PM, which for me is 9 minutes after I go to bed, typically.
Admittedly, I have an extremely early morning job, but I’m not the only one. There are lots of people up and about long before me every day and they have kids too.
I know the school district has this magic wind chill number of -30. But is there really a massive difference between a -25 and a -30 wind chill? No.
But I think the delay was caused because they were holding out hope that the forecasted wind chill would be -29 or better so that when questioned the district can say 'Well, the policy says -30 and it was -27 so we stayed open.' They finally couldn't wait any longer so they called it.
The decision to call off school today was the right decision. The time of day it was announced was a poor decision.
Freakishly large snow storms happen. Flash floods happen. When sudden extreme events happen, there’s nothing you can do. But when the forecast for Wednesday has been the same for two or three days, making a decision two or three hours sooner would have made a big difference for working stiffs with kids.