Our school district will start the school day Friday, Sept. 1, 2006, on a two hour delay. This is in anticipation of Tropic Storm Ernesto. In the era of post-Katrina politics, everyone seems to be covering our tails in royal fashion. But, this is a good thing. Mother nature is unpredictable. I sure would not want my 6 year old riding in any vehicle, school bus or family truck or car on a muddy, rain slick, dirt road after a storm like Ernesto. No, I do not have a child that young, but I remember an incidence when one of my daughters was in elementary school. The school bus she was coming home on was in a wreck. The weather conditions worsened rapidly and they had to drive in a rain/sleet storm. Luckily, she and all the other bus passengers and the car were fine. I remember being a nervous wreck as I rushed to the wreck site. No one has to tell me that schools have to do everything they can to avoid dangerous conditions.
How will this impact student learning? I am not sure, but we can basically draw a line through our lesson plans. It is not going to happen. Combine the fact that everyone is on a different schedule, teachers have to remember that children may not sleep well. When they do not sleep well, they are cranky and hyper. I over heard my high school students telling each other that they are going to... [let's say they will not be reading the Bible, if you know what I mean] because they do not have to get up as early as they usually do. Now, I hope they were just "bragging" and "running their mouth." They will not be very receptive to learning about controlled variables, the scientific method and science models. Friday morning, with a two hour delay, will make the day-- a real challenge. Any change in routine, automatically compounds disorganization. Since students will be "off their schedule", teachers have planned an alternate activity day.
On the topic of planning, I have been trying to pull together another episode of our podcast. However, this week has been filled with hours of meetings and discussion as we edit our school's improvement plan. This is a very important process for our school. We have received input from parents, teachers,