Wintery Weather Whittles Away at Snow Days

Winter is in full force here in East Tennessee, and with it winter weather seems to be on everyone’s minds lately. Most of us dread the thought of braving the elements to get through our daily routine. Although, if you happen to be a student in Jefferson County, or any surrounding county for that matter, snow days are full of hope and the promise of a winter wonderland of fun.

To begin with, we would like to explain that each year the school calendar is created with a certain amount of snow days in mind. Of course, no one can predict the weather from year to year, and sometimes those days get used faster than previous years. This year, Jefferson County Schools were given 10 snow days for this school year. All of those snow days have been used except for 1.

The breakdown of snow day usage is as follows: 1 for the Solar Eclipse that happened last August, 1 day for high wind, and 1 additional day used for low temperatures. The rest have been used for snow and ice events. In deciding when to use snow day’s officials always take into account the safety of their students and staff when making a decision.

School officials begin their decision making process, by watching the weather forecast for the coming days in question and also check in to see what conditions are like in surrounding counties. Since Jefferson County is such a large county and most of its students arrive to school by bus, it is important for officials to make decisions quickly. If students are standing outside waiting for a bus, officials want to make that as safe for them as possible, as some have to stand for a long time depending on their location.

So what about that 1 day that is left? Officials will of course use the process above to make a judgement call about the coming school day. If the day has been used, students and teachers fear not! A plan has been set into place to make up those days by taking a couple of days off from Winter Break, President’s day or even Good Friday or Good Monday. In the end school officials want their students to make it to school safely, and have a positive learning experience. With this plan in place, they are determined to do just that for the students of the Jefferson County School system.

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer