Hostage Cr-Ice-Is, Day Three: Dallas ISD Won't Open Schools' Doors on Thursday Either

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This just in from the Dallas Independent School District, which, apparently, no longer adheres to its 6 a.m.-morning-of policy when it comes to announcing closings:
Continuing weather-related issues will keep Dallas ISD schools and administrative offices closed on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011. Continue to seek warm shelter and stay off those roads if you can!
That sound coming from the other room is the boy screaming in joy and the wife ... not. That's one way to solve a budget crisis? But in my day, they didn't cancel classes 'cause of cold and ice. No, sir. Why, let me tell you about the winter of '83 ...

Update at 5:26 p.m.: DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander -- who's worked for the district for 15 years and was a student for 12 years before that -- can't recall the last time it called off three days due to weather. Problem is, he reminds this evening, there are but two make-up days on the calendar: April 22 (which is Good Friday) and May 23. So, how will DISD handle the third?

We don't know yet," he says. "It's too early. We'll have some discussions and make some recommendations to the board. It's been a long time since we've seen something like this." He says that if the district were to try to just write off that third day as a lost day, it would first have to ask for a waiver from the Texas Education Agency.

As for why the district called off school for Thursday, it was a combination of several factors -- remaining icy roads, the potential for more rolling blackouts tomorrow and the fact that "in all of our parking lots and on the steps outside the schools, there are still all kinds of chances for people to slip and fall. It's better to be safe than sorry."
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Guest
Guest

Question: is there a requirement by the power companies that huge users like large school districts and mega-employers shut down during times of extreme temperatures, in return for lower rates? I've heard that but can't find verification.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

I am fine with Dallas making up the 2 days already incoporated into the calendar. If they want to cut Spring Break or have school on Memorial Day, fine. If they extend the school year beyond June 2 I will be IRATE. In fact, I will be beyond irate.

Evan
Evan

Not sure if it's a bigger deal for Dallas, but Duncanville had 3 days of inclement weather when I was there, and there was absolutely no problem getting the waiver to not make up the 3rd day.

I would imagine if the headache of finding a new day in the schedule is too much for D'Ville, it's got to be well beyond reason for Dallas to come up with something.

My question is if there'll be a 4th day - with temperatures not hitting 32 until Friday morning/afternoon, and Dallas (and all other major ISDs) calling tomorrow off by 5pm today, things probably aren't looking well for Friday.

Eskimo Joe
Eskimo Joe

Houston area schools received waivers after hurricane Ike. Most were out for at least a week.

That would have been a dream come true for me growing up.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I remember in 83 being sent home at 10am due to cold. The streets were clear and it was sunny. But, when they are issuing rolling blackouts, it's reasonable to close schools. A big reason for the school schedule is weather related, in that they try to balance the late Spring and Late Summer days to avoid the highest heat.

Dave_little
Dave_little

by the way, what's with Whole Foods closing at 4 today?

Dianec
Dianec

Best blog article title ever! I am so with your wife! It is an estrogen jihad at our house with no place to escape! BTW...83' was our first winter in Texas. We were newlyweds in 1st apartment with no heat for days but we managed to stay warm as newlyweds do....Now...we bought a kerosene heater.....those were the days!

Greg
Greg

Richardson ISD closed Thursday

JS
JS

C'mon, this is getting ridiculous. It's just cold out there, and a little icy in spots. There is absolutely no reason for schools to be shut down.

Anon
Anon

Umm, when the buses are late and little kids are standing freezing in the cold, that's a problem. Many moms leave for work and lock the door once the child is at the bus stop.

Buses have no seatbelts, either, which is very unsafe on icy days.

Then, once at school, the power goes out which leaves everyone cold and in the dark.Shaded ice by the portables creates more hazards.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Amy S
Amy S

Tell that to Clay Jenkins. It's bad in our little niche of a neighborhood, all it would take is 1 bus to go off the road and people would say they made the wrong choice. Add into it the Oncor problems, which Oncor is saying might be worse tonight and tomorrow.

LaceyB
LaceyB

If memory serves, Clay Jenkins is involved in a problem slightly more important (to him) than inclement weather and buses right now.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Amy is referring to the fact Jenkins done slipped on the ice on his way to work, fracturing his leg and requiring surgery at Parkland.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I was out earlier -- and, yeah, maybe some parts of town are clear-ish. But up here in the the NW, 'round Marsh, Walnut Hill, Royal, and most assuredly the side streets are still rough sledding. As in: two kids tore down the street a little bit ago atop trash-can lids tied to a bumper.

And, indeed, re: electricity concerns, see: Atmos too ...

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

UncleScrappy
UncleScrappy

That is the reason they are cancelling classes. Think about how much GAS & ELECTRICITY it is going to take to heat up all those campuses when it is 10 dgrees outside. MAJOR EXPENSE & such. Better to wait until the temps get back above freezing.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Indeed -- see update to original item, as I've since spoken with DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander about reasons for closing and how the district will make up (or not) unscheduled third day of cancellations.

LaceyB
LaceyB

If that ain't "Texas", I'm not sure what is.

east dallas mom
east dallas mom

I'm sure the electricity problems also figure into this. If they have to have planned outages now, it would be much much worse with the schools open.

Anon
Anon

A couple of years ago, some media GENIUSES went to 3700 and counted cars in the parking lot on a very dicey weather day. There were hardly any there.

The teachers of course, were required to be at the schools so the district could collect state and federal funding.

I'm thinking DISD learned its greedy lesson: do not endanger children and teachers to collect funds while the off-campus people who live off these funds do nothing to earn them.

LaceyB
LaceyB

I just went out there, and it is not that bad. Plenty of people driving on McKinney, although, with awareness, which is refreshing.

So, in '83, what did you do in the harsh winters when your Conestoga broke?

John_McKee
John_McKee

Are the roads really that bad anymore? I'm on McKinney Ave and it looks like most of the ice has thawed and evaporated over the day, anyone know if 35/114 between Dallas and Las Colinas is clear, two days off work is making me stir crazy.

Robert
Robert

Tim Rogers should get the schools reopened with a strongly worded e-mail message.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

That, sir, is an excellent idea. I have left word for Mr. Rogers to see if he is game and will post his response posthaste.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Don't know Tim, but, within minutes of your post, the automated teacher's line confirmed the cancellation. So, unless he's golfing buddies with Hiney...

TimCov
TimCov

Remind the boy that he will most likely have to make up these days later in the year.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Oh, I have. And he does not seem to care.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Dunno what Wifey does, but she can use the day as a "shadow/lesson opportunity". Ex: give him a chance to do the family budget, clean the house, help with the cooking, etc. (Just like a housewife).

After a day of "working" without pay, or with some sort of ridiculously minimum wage (breaks to use ipod/gameboy), kid will be happy to go back to school. You will also have completed the "what did you do during snow day?" Writing assignment.

My parents made us work or do extra-curricular homework during about half of the day, and the other half was ours. They owned their days and their children, instead of the children being wild and out of control (well, many, anyway).

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