Wednesday, February 25, 2015

School Board can’t win, can’t lose with school closing

(Editor's Note: The NC State Wolfpack's 58-46 win over the UNC-CH Tar Heels Tuesday night ended too late for inclusion of stories and photos in this edition. Doesn't matter, though. The score is enough. However, if the game had been between UNC and Duke, the entire posting today would have been about the game no matter what time it ended and how bad the weather.)
In 1975, the NC State student newspaper, Technician, included a short weather-report paragraph on the front page. It wasn’t detailed, just a short paragraph with mention of high temperature and sunshine or not. On April 1, 1975, the weather report was a little terse and reminded the readers they picked up the newspaper from outdoors locations on the way to class. The weather report said, Listen you twerps, you had to come outside to get this paper so if you’d just look around you’d know what the weather is.

Technology then not being what it is today didn’t provide details for forecasts we’ve all come to expect. Rarely was school called off the night before a snow storm. Usually, we had to tune to WWGP in Sanford to find out. The Atlantic weatherman, Bob Caudle, on WRAL-TV was good but not good enough. Today, it’s different because the meteorologists have all sorts of gizmos to tell us nearly exactly what’s going to happen. One thing, though, weather predicting, as accurate as it may seem, is not an exact science. For sure.

School systems may believe predicting the weather is an exact science. Last year, based on the latest data, Wake County schools were called off the day before expected snow which never came, and the public was out-raged at the problems caused when children miss day care, a.k.a. school. The weather report Monday evening this week called for snow later on Tuesday, so the buses were set to roll and many did. But, the skies opened with white stuff pouring down all day, and while the children were headed to school, the School Board called it off for the day. Out-rage again.

Now, here’s the kicker. With school out Tuesday and probably Wednesday and Thursday, spring break, saved by the bell before this latest round of wonderful snowy weather, is probably lost, at least a lot of it. To further complicate the situation, North Carolina law allows those students who were on the buses head to school Tuesday to get full credit for attendance that day though not setting foot inside a classroom, actually not off the bus. Not sure what happens to those in cars. What happens with attendance credit and snow make-up days is to be determined, but let’s face it: The School Board can’t win for losing or something like that.
-------------------- word of the day
pickwickian (adjective) [pik-wik-ee-uh n]: meant or understood in a sense different from the apparent or usual one

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