Late Starts and Snow Days

Paige Ellis, Staff Member

The late start trend was interrupted with a long anticipated snow day this past week. The late start schedule was integrated into the Columbia Public School system this year; a newly implemented attempt to deal with the inevitable and unpredictable Missouri weather. After last year’s infamous snow week, there needed to be a solution put into effect to try and eliminate or significantly lower the number of missed days due to snow.

The thought process put into pushing class back an hour was that it gives snow plows time to reach more roads and potentially make roads more feasible for driving. So far, so good with the delayed scheduling, as everyone seems to win and students get to sleep in while learning still gets done, and we don’t have to make up the day in the summer. From the teachers’ perspective, a late start is much preferred over a snow day, especially in the AP level classes where the testing day in May isn’t pushed back and lost days cannot be made up in the same manor. English teacher, Mrs. Borgmeyer said,” I think the late starts are fantastic; my students appear more rested and more work seems to get done because of the time crunch.” Because Battle is set up on a block schedule, missing an entire day due to snow can cause a class to only meet once in a week, significantly interrupting lessons and the flow of learning. There is always a down side to everything, and without any doubt almost every student will tell you they would prefer a snow day over a late start, especially the seniors who aren’t required to make up any days, but logistically it seems to be a smart move on the schools. Aubri Nichols, senior, said, “As a teenager, of course, I would rather be sitting at home, but as a student, late starts are defiantly the way to go.”

For high school students, being home alone or getting on the bus without parental guidance isn’t an issue, but in lower grade levels, parents are forced to go into work late to assure their child is safe and in good hands. According to elementary teacher Angela Rippstein, “It’s hard for the parents to assure busses are running on time and quickly adapt to the delayed scheduling, but finding care for a whole day off or having school be dismissed early is a much greater issue; late start is the lesser of the evils.” There is a point when pushing class back an hour makes no difference to road conditions, yet the new system seems to reduce any hindrance to the school as a whole.