School officials deserve patience, and better weather

Cold, snowy, icy and just plain nasty weather has been the norm this winter throughout the state of Ohio and a large section of the country.

Many parents of school-age children are tired of closings and delays at this point, and even some of the students are growing bored with staying home, especially when below zero temperatures prevent them from going outdoors. Many school districts have either exhausted their calamity days quota or are in danger of doing so, if this horrible weather doesn’t end soon.

Thankfully, the Ohio legislature is considering a bill which will allow schools four additional calamity days. The House plans a vote on the calamity-day plan Wednesday. If approved it will then go to the Senate and Gov. Kasich could sign it by the end of the month.

While some parents’ patience has been worn thin by the closings and delays, others have been critical of local school districts for not making decisions to cancel classes soon enough to please them. Most, however, do not realize what superintendents must consider before deciding to cancel classes. Many of our Columbiana County superintendents personally go out and drive along roads buses must use to determine their condition. In other districts transportation supervisors road test the routes for safety and report their opinions to the superintendent.

Keep in mind, too, that while the safety of children and school personnel is undoubtedly the most important criteria used in making these decisions, superintendents must also be mindful of these calamity day allowances, as well as their primary role of making sure students’ educations continue without unnecessary interruptions.

So parents, the next time the weather turns frightful, try to have a little more patience with your school officials. They truly have the children’s best interest at heart.

And let’s hope the extra calamity days are granted so students won’t be required to attend on Saturdays or go to school later into the summer.