Friday, December 16, 2016

“No news = No change” – But sometimes the news is late

Normally, during this time of year, I have to check the local news early in the morning to see if school is opened. However, I got a wake-up call earlier in the week that I should not JUST rely on the news for that info, because all schools in this district recently had a 2-hour delay, and this was not included on the news. It was, however, on the school district website. That was pretty much a good heads-up to me to not JUST rely on the news for that info, but to also double-check on the school district website!

This morning, I got another heads-up.

The school district has a common message to parents who inquire if schools are open for the day: “No news = No change.” And that’s what I thought when, at 5ish this morning (I think it was 5:20??), I checked the school district website to see if schools were open today. Yesterday the kids had what I call an “ice day.” There was no school because of cold and icy weather. I commented on Facebook yesterday that when I had gone outside to look around (after reading reports of fallen trees and downed power lines), it was like stepping onto the set of Frozen! Seriously, there was ice everywhere. The ice was covering everything – even the power lines! I almost slipped on the ice just walking on the grass. I called it an “Ice-pocalypse” because it was really icy and frigid yesterday. Brr!

So I didn’t think there would be school yesterday – although I WAS still open to the possibility. After all, today is the last day of school for the year, and the teachers might want to try to get any last assignments in or wrap up some ongoing projects. I asked Jen last night while I was working in the kitchen and she was sitting at the table working on an art project, “Do you think there will be school tomorrow?” She shook her head. She really seemed confident with her answer, but I still thought maybe there would be school. Even so, we still had to stick to the schedule and pretty much act as if there WAS school tomorrow. Because there still might be.

So I got up at the usual time this morning. I checked out my bedroom window and it looked like there was a spattering of snow on the ground. Hm, if it did snow, schools might be closed. (Don’t know if it was snow; it was dark and frost or icy grass could be mistaken for snow when there’s moonlight and/or lights from other houses shining on it.) Then I looked out the front door window. It still looked pretty icy outside.

Then I checked the school district website. Guess what? No news. Nothing about delays or closures. I also checked the district Twitter feed (I follow it on my personal Twitter account) and it said to stay tuned for news. But I didn’t exactly stay tuned. I figured, since that post was 9 hours old, there was “no news.” So I guess there was school today!

Now if there is school, that means I have to be in the shower by 6 a.m. (that is the normal routine – sometimes there’s things going on that delays my shower). But I wasn’t finished drinking my water yet, so I was not in the shower at EXACTLY 6 a.m. Which is probably a good thing because, at around that time, someone posted in the neighborhood watchgroup that all schools were closed today. I checked the district site again AND the Twitter feed and, sure enough, there was the announcement that all schools were closed.

Well, whaddaya know. Jen called it!

Seriously, though, I am glad there is no school. The roads DO NOT look safe to drive so early. They say we’re supposed to have sunny weather today, and that’s good because it will melt the ice, but when it’s really early and parents have to drive their kids to the bus stop or school, you gotta go with the CURRENT road conditions.  (That sounds kinda funny, though. Cold and icy one day, then nice and sunny the next. Ah, Oregon!) And the current road conditions did not look good! Even when the news showed a live video feed of an icy road, I really felt the current road conditions did not look safe for driving. And after already experiencing one episode of my car sliding on the ice and almost crashing into a bus, you can bet I am a lot more wary about driving during the icy and snowy weather. I am also a more cautious driver because of that. And these days, I’m driving a minivan, so “bus mentality” aside while I’m driving it, I have no clue what to expect if the van starts sliding on the ice.  

And as I type this, at 7:15 a.m., it is currently 27 degrees outside. Lovely.

So, yes, I’m glad we don’t have to go out in that weather. It’s too bad the kids won’t be able to wish their friends and teachers happy holidays before Winter Break, but I’m glad we don’t have to worry about trying to get to a destination in one piece. (And anyway, they already gave friends and teachers Christmas presents and I already gifted Jesse’s school, so that’s not an issue. And the other friends left to get gifts to are people we know outside of the school and we can just take their gifts to their houses.)

I am also glad I can take the time to enjoy my coffee this morning rather than inhaling the stuff and rushing to get the kids out the door. I can also spend time this morning, while the kids are still asleep, working on a couple of things.

Even so, I was curious about why there was a delay in getting the info about school closures. (Am I the only one at a computer so early in the morning on a school day?) When I posted about it in the neighborhood watchgroup, someone replied that I should sign up for the text alerts. Maybe that is a way to get a heads-up about school delays or closures so early? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try. (Sidenote: I don’t immediately jump on the computer or check my phone right after I get up in the morning. That’s a bad habit!) I will sign up for those alerts all the same, because I think it’s important to use every resource possible when you need to stay updated on things like that. After all, I don’t want to show up at my son's school with my son in the car when there’s a 2-hour delay at his school and there’s hardly anybody there again. And I REALLY don’t want that to happen should his school be closed for the day and there’s nobody there.

It’s all good, though. The kids get to sleep and I get to work. And I’ll also be extra prepared for school winter alerts when the kids go back to school in January!

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