Snowy Weather Blankets Student’s Ability to Learn

St. Vrain School District gives late starts instead of snow days



St. Vrain Valley School District’s officials announcements about snow days on twitter cause argument and debate on whether late starts help or impede the students.

Ella Berrend and Marissa Parker

Frederick, Colorado got hit pretty hard with snow within the month of February. Many high school students over the age of 16 drive to school every day and when the bad weather hits, the possibility of accidents goes up much higher. Many kids use superstitious methods of hoping for snow days, whether that’s flushing ice cubes or wearing your pajamas inside out. The St. Vrain Valley School District has other thoughts, so instead of a much-wanted snow day, the school starts two and a half hours later than scheduled.

Late starts have been argued to not help much, as all it does is delay the time of going to school. Most days, it’s still icy on the roads at 10:15 am. The school does advertise that if parents are still uncomfortable with the weather conditions outside, then they are able to call in and excuse their students’ absence. The question then comes up, What about the kids who have no ride at that time of the morning? The Scout interviewed Grace Thiebeau about her opinions on a full snow day vs. the late starts. “Personally, I think late starts are pointless when the weather is involved. When school gets pushed back later and my mom has already left for work, my siblings often stay home because I don’t have time to take them to their schools,” she argued.

Although the school makes late start announcements through phone calls, they also make these announcements on twitter. The comments are usually filled with angry students and parents questioning why the superintendent made the choice. Frederick High School student, Rodrigo Leo makes a complaint to our superintendent on all the mishaps that had to happen to even ensure a late start.

Students of SVVSD voicing their struggles with late starts and weather within the district in general. Twitter, All Rights Reserved.

On February 3, the roads were highly dangerous and may kids were expecting to wake up with a call for a late start, but in this case, no actions were taken. Stories spread around the school about a girl who had spun against oncoming traffic and slid into a ditch due to the roads. One of Frederick’s English teachers had even slipped on the sidewalk, spraining her wrist and breaking her elbow. Although it might not have been dangerous for others in different cities, it was treacherous for many students and staff here in the Weld County area.

Many students are upset about this problem. Senior, Clarissa Smith states her opinion on how ridiculous late start days are. “It’s dumb,” she laughs. “The roads aren’t magically going to be better at 10 am. It’s actually either [even] more slushy or it’s still snowing.”

 Clarissa gave a reasonable and helpful opinion for the district’s issues since the district explains the reasoning for a late start as a need to continue learning. “We have Schoology for a reason, that’s a great resource for a snow day… Late starts make classes really compacted so what’s the use? Just give us a snow day,” she states. As a student, we are able to use Schoology at home and that’s an easy way for teachers to message us and explain what work can be done before the next class. “We all know [this] is some nonsense let’s be real,” she laughs.

What do you think about weather-related late starts? Leave a comment below on what you think would better help the learning and safety during the snowy weather.