According to USA Today, on February 2, 2019 Punxsutawney Phil (also known as the groundhog) did not see his shadow and that means we are in for an early spring this year. I don’t know what it looks like out your window, but the last few weeks have not felt like an early spring to me! While our students had an unplanned February break, I know many of you were looking forward to getting your Coyotes back to school. The unfortunate news is that staff and students will be required to make up the missed days due to the Pacific Northwest attempting to get an entire winter in a period of just a few weeks.
As for the school calendar, staff and students have several days to make up due to school closures. The district calendar has one built-in snow day and we will now have school on Friday, May 24th. In addition, we will add the remaining days to the end of the calendar. Please refer to the Columbia School District website for continued updates.
Since we are talking snow, delays and closures, have you ever wondered how school delays or cancellations are decided? Well if so, today is your lucky day! In case you thought the Magic 8-Ball had anything to do with our decisions, I am sorry to disappoint you. When weather conditions become a concern, several district staff (including yours truly) begin driving the roads. We start driving and monitoring morning road conditions beginning at 4 a.m., traveling local district roads all the way to our boundaries beyond Wallula and Charbonneau. District staff then communicate regarding road conditions. If we determine that conditions are unsafe for bus, parent or student travel, a delay or cancellation decision will be made by the superintendent. Once that decision is made, communication will go out via our website and to local news and radio stations. It is always our goal to get out the notification as soon as possible to give our community as much notice as we can, however the night before is not always feasible. If there is a chance that we may be able to safely continue school, we will delay the decision until morning. These decisions are not made lightly and safety will always continue to be our number one priority. That’s it for this month. Drive safe out there and think warm weather!
Todd Hilberg, Superintendent