From StormWatch 7 Center from a Webcam

From StormWatch 7 Center from a Webcam

Well,

The “real” snow has come! According to the weather channel.com the current conditions are:

as of 11:45 am

25 degrees feels like 7 degrees

winds from N at 33 mph, gusting to 40mph

Brrr….

And guess what school system  is open?

Yep! You guessed right….DC Public Schools opened 2 hours late!

I don’t recall them having a “snow day” where the school was closed  this school year. The last time, their response to why they opened was that they wanted to make sure “the kids were able to eat lunch.” Because, apparently, a lot of DC kids don’t get a decent meal in their homes because of their poverty. While, I think that is good for those who need that (and those who parents have to work) that (eating lunch) is pretty much all that they probably will be the “highlight of the day”, in my opinion.

When the weather hits like this and affects just about every other jurisdiction in the DC Metro area, (where the school systems are mostly closed) many teachers cannot make it in to work (unless they live in the city) and the kids end up either with a substitute teacher or a teacher that has two or three classes together and they end up either allowing them to play in the gym or watching a dvd or cable. Few kids are handed “productive” work and if they do get work to do, they may lack the motivation to do it.

Which leads me to transportation.

Once again, I would like to see transportation to be given an opportunity to make their own decisions concerning whether or not they will operate on a bad weather day. Transportation is dependent upon the judgment of whomever makes the final decision for the whole school system. Who this person is, I’m not sure.

I hear these “spokespeople” on TV boasting about “how good the DC streets are.” I have to laugh! Now, the “main” streets are probably passable (mainly the downtown area and highways) , but the side streets take time to get cleared. Today, it’s windy, so it may aide in some of the streets clearing, but it’s still cold (under freezing) and those streets that don’t get cleaned really well will still have remnants of snow that will turn to ice overnight (where the temperature is supposed to fall to 13 degrees), which leads to still slippery surfaces. Not to mention that  sidewalks and steps that need to be cleared of snow/ice.

Do they think about the condition of most of the DCPS buses? Most are them are not snow ready, let alone ready for clear and sunny conditions! If my tires and brakes don’t properly respond to rain, how are they going to respond to snow and ice?

On the day after last snow day, one of my children’s parents did not clear off their steps. Of course, I told my attendant not to go up those stairs because of the risk of her falling. The poor child often slipped while he was going up and down those stairs! I think that was very pitiful because they didn’t even consider the safety of their child (let alone themselves) to take a few minutes to clear away the snow.

Every other county, in this area, has decided to close schools because they primarily use school buses to transport their students to school and they feel that the road conditions will cause too many risks of accidents. But, DCPS children primarily use METRO, they walk or the parents drive them to school. Also, the fact that many DCPS drivers don’t know how to drive in the snow, should be considered as well. (But, it’s assumed that they do!)

I don’t want to come across a “complainer,” I just want those who make these decisions to choose wisely the right thing to do and to consider the seriousness of these matters.

Lastly, transportation’s motto is “Safety First.” If safety is truly first, they should be given the right to make their own decisions based on weather conditions, the condition of the school buses, as well as the safety of the kids and bus driver/attendants.

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