Posted in School

Snow Day Diaries

Hello and Happy February 1st!

This post could be alternatively titled: the tale of two different days.

Since we’ve had two snow days recently, one a traditional day off and one an online learning day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at how we spent those days. Ironically, neither day off included any actual snow.

Here’s how we spent our two snow days…

1.27.23

Last Friday, it wasn’t even on my radar that we might have a snow day. (And…that means I didn’t realize that I might write a post like this…so there are very few photos)

I woke up and was so tired that I hit snooze. Eventually, I got up and made a cup of coffee. As soon as I sat down on the couch, my phone started buzzing. Our school district was calling off school. I looked outside and saw dry road conditions. I was confused but already up, so I turned on the news. They were talking about how the north side of town and northern Kentucky had lots of snow and there were many accidents. I decided to enjoy my slow morning.

This was an actual snow day. No online learning.

Hadley got up around 8, and Hayden woke up around 8:30. Both were confused, of course…but then excited about a three day weekend.

I had made Hadley an after school hair appointment for a trim. She said she was all about getting that crossed off our list earlier in the day. When I called, they had a 10:15 appointment, so we went for it.

While we were gone, Hayden lived his best life playing Xbox.

After the hair appointment, Hadley and I went to Target to pick up a few things. Then, we headed home.

We were going to bake a cake on Saturday, but we decided to go ahead and bake the cake once we got home. Hadley did 90% of the work, and I cleaned up. After the cake cooled, she decorated it and wanted a silly pic!

The sun was shinning, so both kids decided to get their runs in. I had their lunch ready for them when they got home (pizza and fruit). Then, Hadley went to a friend’s house and Hayden and I watched a few episodes of Goldbergs.

After that, Hayden played basketball with some friends while I read and then tided up the house.

Later that night, we went out to dinner.

I can honestly say that in 21 years teaching, I’m pretty sure that I’ve never had a snow day with zero snow or ice on the street/in the yard. There have definitely been days where by 10:00 the roads were fine, but my part of town showed no signs of winter weather. That being said, we have a huge district, and many people were posting photos of their driveways, yards, and streets snow covered! Just crazy.

1.31.23

On Monday, with the possibility of rain/sleet/ice/snow, the district was really spreading the message of possible NTI day on Tuesday. Many surrounding counties called off Monday afternoon and night…but my district didn’t call off until 5:30 am yesterday. To be honest, I was kind of glad because that meant that Monday night my kids went to bed like normal! haha

I woke up around 5:30 to the “no school” text, and actually did go back to sleep. I slept until 7:30.

Then, I got up, had some coffee, read some blogs, and finished an episode of The Crown.

I woke the kids at 9:00, so we could get started on our day.’

I made our traditional “snow day” pancakes even though we didn’t have snow…only some ice.

Travis did report that the main roads were pretty much fine, but the kids and I were happy to do our work at home in our pjs.

With the kids having so many classes, I wanted them to have a visual/checklist for the day. Honestly, I wanted to be able to see what they accomplished too.

Most of the morning looked like this:

At one point, Hadley asked to go to a friend’s house and do work (I know that’s shocking…haha)..but I told her no. I knew she had quite a bit to tackle, and wanted to make sure she stayed home and got it finished.

I worked quite a bit on the credit recovery session I’m planning as well as sent emails to teachers and checked Canvas assignments.

The kids were working hard, and requested Cane’s, so that’s what we had for lunch.

After lunch, I worked on a couple of upcoming work sessions I have with students and answered emails. I kept my Zoom open from 1:30-3:30, but I had a couple of students email me questions.

Hadley had only a bit of work left to do, so I let her go to her friend’s house for a couple of hours. Hayden got his run in before basketball practice.

**Today’s “snow day” was different than Friday’s because on Friday, all afternoon/evening activities were cancelled whereas that wasn’t the case last night.

Even after dinner, both kids still hand a couple of assignments to wrap up.

NTI details:

So here a few NTI details:

  • NTI stands for “Non-Traditional Instruction”
  • Many more rural county districts (including the one I taught at previously have been using NTI days for many years…before Covid)
  • Teachers are supposed to have “asynchronous” instruction assignments for students posted on Canvas or Google pages.
  • The general rule of thumb is 20-30 minutes of work per class.
  • The district set Zoom/Google Meet times per level where teachers just need to be online in case students need help. For example, high school teachers have to be online from 1:30-3:30.
  • Students have three days to turn in the assignments once we return to school. They do this in case students didn’t have their computer, internet access, power (in the case of ice), or just need additional help from their teacher.
  • We don’t have to make these days up at the end of the school year.

I will say my own kids had quite a bit of work. They have seven classes, and some classwork took them longer than an hour to complete. Both of them had a couple of short assignments to finish after dinner.

I’ve also learned that people will complain about anything. I don’t take for granted that I don’t have to worry about child care on a snow day. Of course, my kids are older, but I’ve never had to worry about child care on a snow day. I am the child care.

The same people who troll the district’s Facebook page and complain about a day off when their road is clear are probably the same who would try to sue the district if their kid’s bus slid off the road. The same people who complain about NTI are the same to complain when kids are still in school on June 3rd. It’s always so ridiculous to me to see these comments.

Well, as I type this on Tuesday evening, I haven’t been to school since last Thursday. Besides the two snow days, I was with Travis at an appointment on Monday, so I wasn’t even at school then. I’m assuming we’ll be in school today, and next week’s temps look mild. Oh…the up’s and down’s of February…

Stay safe and warm!

8 thoughts on “Snow Day Diaries

  1. Loved this post and I copied your guidelines. I am furious that we didn’t have an NTI day bc we don’t have any days built in and they will add that to the end of the school year. Or, they will forgive students and teachers will still have to work because they wouldn’t want to pay us for “not working”. That looked like a very full day for the kids. Even with 20-30 min. per class they have so many classes in middle school and that looks stressful.
    I didn’t leave the house until 4:00 yesterday and then only went to Dollar Tree. I had such a nice day! But, it still seems weird to have a snow day without kids in the house. It has rarely happened since J and M left for college.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet it’s so different having a snow day on your own. I felt like my kids had a lot to work…it was easy to assign work with online programs and all good work…just took longer than I think any of us expected. They haven’t told us yet if we have to make up last Friday (& we had that day off in November- flu day). I’m not sure what to expect.

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  2. Yes, people will certainly complain about anything, no matter what decision is made. Question about your kids running – are they training for something? Is this part of a sports/coaching program? Or when did they start deciding they wanted to make running a habit? My son is only 11 but I would love if he thought to go out for a run for some activity.

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    1. They started running in 4th grade for cross country & then 6th grade was first year of track. This is the first year that hayden has started to run year round in the off season. He’s doing club racing and hadley’s occasionally joining just to be ready for track in March. It’s nice having teens and with running, I don’t have to take them anywhere (usually) 😂

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  3. I think those NTI days sound wonderful! And I completely agree with you about the complainers– and not just about school decisions either. I keep trying to remind my husband about that too where he works. I think there are some people that just LOVE to complain.

    Liked by 1 person

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