Classes Back In Session After 6-Day Weekend - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Classes Back In Session After 6-Day Weekend

For many WFISD students, the return to class this morning was actually a welcome relief.

"I liked staying at home, but at school I get to learn," said Tony Montana.

"I thought it was overwhelming.  It was long and fun, but it was kind of just a little too long," said Christopher Kazanas.

Crockett Elementary fifth grade teacher Katherine Segler says coming back to school brought out both sides of the emotional spectrum in some of her students this morning.

"They're excited to see their friends, definitely, but once you start getting back in the same routine, you do see the hunched shoulders and you have to give them that pump-up speech," she said.

Segler says for the most part, she and her science students picked back up right where they left off, but it definitely does take some review, as well.

"I got here early because we were all kind of scrambling, trying to really put together how we were going to make up the time that we lost last week," she said.

Still, she says time is the biggest enemy in the classroom as they try to meet TAKS standards after four missed days of school.

But at least one student was glad the weekend was so long.

"I want to get as many days off as I can," said Carly Kowalick.

Two of WFISD's missed schools days will be made up with the built-in snow days later in the year.  the district says it will wait until after winter weather season to submit a waiver request for other missed days, including any days that might be missed this week.

Here are some frequently-asked-questions and answers about WFISD's snow day policies and procedures:

Q: Is school ever released early due to inclement weather?
A: According to the district's Student Handbook, students are not dismissed early due to inclement weather.  If the parent is concerned and wishes to come to school and pick up his/her child, he/she may do so.  However, students will be dismissed only at the regularly scheduled time.
 
Q: If school is delayed, what time are employees expected to be at work?
A: Due to the fact that many times parents do not honor the delay start times and take children to school around the customary start time, it is important that staff is at school. If possible, the district encourages all personnel to report to work at their customary report-to-work time as they are safely able to do so. Personnel are expected to promptly notify their supervisor if they will be delayed in coming to work. (Regulation DEH/Policy CKC)
 
Q: Who makes the decision about delays or cancellations?
A: The Superintendent, with input from the transportation director and the Chief Financial Operations Officer, determines whether road conditions warrant a delay or cancellation.
 
Q: When is the decision made?
A: Since some of the first district bus routes begin at 6:30 a.m., the evaluation of roads begins around 5 a.m. A decision is made around 5:30 a.m. so communication to the community can begin.
 
Q: How is the decision made?
A: Durham Transportation District Operations Manager and their Safety Supervisor drive the streets of Wichita Falls to determine their safety. In addition, the Superintendent and Chief Financial Operations Officer also drive the streets for a first-hand look at road conditions.
 
Q: How is the decision communicated?
A: The district's Public Information Office uses ParentLink phone notification system to call district employees and families. The Public Information Officer calls media and radio contacts with the information also.

Q: What is the priority in making the decision whether to delay or close schools?
A: The first priority in the decision making process is the safety of the students.  The decision to delay or close schools is very difficult.  A decision at 5:30 a.m. determines the entire day. Texas weather is unpredictable and can quickly change for better or worse.

Q: Why can't the district make a decision the night before?
A: Conditions can worsen, stabilize, or improve by morning. City crews and the Texas Department of Transportation work during the night to improve travel conditions for the next morning.

To see the full list of FAQs, click here.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6

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