Thursday, January 4, 2018

Snow Day Or Not? It's Not That Hard.

save imageNew York City is the City that never sleeps and if you can make it here you'll make it anywhere. We have a reputation to live up to. Perhaps this is why the snow day thing is so difficult for our mayor and chancellor to call.  

No matter what they decide, some people will be mad. We all know for the most part teachers and students celebrate snow days. But for others it's a headache!

Childcare and Meals

In NYC, as in other places, a layer of difficulty is that parents depend on schools for childcare and meals for their children. Taking off of work for some parents is not really an option because they might not get paid for that day, or worse. They could get fired. 

So what is a chancellor, mayor, or in other districts a principal or superintendent to do?

Have a plan.  

It goes like this...

Have fewer schools open because there will be fewer staff and fewer students so you only need fewer schools and fewer meals.

The schools are the same schools used as emergency shelters.  Teachers and students are pre-assigned to their emergency shelter school. They also can indicate if they are likely to come in or not should various scenarios present themselves i.e. snow day, hurricane.

It's not that hard

If you are thinking this would be too hard to figure out, just stop.

This is the 21st century and we live in a city where we have Computer Science for All.  An algorithm makes this elementary.

Everybody Wins

The result is this:
Students who need a place to go have one.

Teachers who are in danger commuting don't have to come in. Teachers who are not, come in. Those teachers who come in receive comp time in the form of a few extra prep periods. Good principals know how to do that at no expense to the school i.e. field trip, assembly, etc. etc. There are lots of other cost neutral options as well, but that is fodder for another post. 

This shouldn't be that hard. In fact it should be a formula based on predictions by the National Weather Service by noon the day prior. If it's wrong, it's wrong. That's how forecasts are today, but still, a plan is in place and everybody wins.

1 comment:

  1. An educator shared that the mayor should also encourage businesses that can, allow parents to bring a child to work on such days. Another good idea.