Snow Days


One of the benefits of having my son in a private pre-school is that (we were told) they are open on all the dumb federal holidays that we normal working folk do not get off. Also, the sign in the lobby says “The school will remain open if the driveway is safe and our teachers can make it in to the school safely”.

OK so this theory was tested this week. Snowmageddon or “snowlandia” hit at noon on Thursday and all hell broke loose in the Portland area. No seriously, people lost their minds. I called into the school at 11:45 “just to check” and see if they would be closing early.

“Oh my gosh, YES! We are calling parents to have them pick kids up by 1pm”

Um, excuse me? You are calling working parents with a 1 hour notice? There are over 100 kids in his school. Would I have been one of the first or the last to be called? If I had been at the bottom then I would certainly have had less than an hours notice. I hustled and was able to get there by 1:15 or so after battling morons in traffic that were losing their minds over snow that was barely accumulating.

123¬† We made it home safely and after 4 days snowed in Monday arrived and I was never so happy to return to work and my normal routine. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but woah. Cabin fever!

I called the school to see if there was a message on the recorded line and it hadn’t been updated. Hmmmm… I guess there will be school tomorrow. All the public schools had cancelled to allow the roads to thaw for another day. It was a mess out there. I went online to see if there was anything noted on the site. Nothing. I emailed the general account and hoped to get an update just in case they would be closed, so I could make arrangements.

6am Monday morning (normal opening) I called. No answer. 6:45 I called again and a teacher picked up. “Well I don’t think we will be open, Mr Joseph (owner) has asked that parents call back at 8 to see if enough teachers can make it in”.

OK, cue my angry face. So, this wasn’t something that could have been decided the night before by reaching out to your staff to determine who was still snowed in? Like you couldn’t have put an update online or on a ¬†recording saying there was even a chance you may be closed? Just radio silence?

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I have no idea if they were open or closed because I had to get into work. After being out for 2 days last week I had some very time sensitive things to get done. So I did what I had to do and I brought the lil monster into work with me. We brought tons of snacks and my ipad. We made it until 12:15 before the crabby “I need a nap” attitude started. I was able to get my work done and most people didn’t even know he was there! I’m thankful I have a good kid and my own office so this worked out for me, but I can only imagine if I had an office or work environment where this wasn’t condoned??

Would you say something to the school? We so rarely have these kinds of weather issues, and so I know that we are all a bit unprepared for things, but it was REALLY inconvenient to not know.


  • Jessi says:

    This has happened to me since our last name starts with a W. I work 30 minutes from my daughter’s preschool and I was once called with a 10-minute notice. I laughed at the woman who called me. Thankfully, our pre-k really does stay open most of the time and we’ve had our fair share of icy conditions here in the south. They have only closed early or opened late two times in the three years my daughter has attended there. I would definitely speak with them about their delay and encourage them to at least have a better dismissal/weather conditions process and standards. Even if that kind of weather isn’t very common, it’s still good to have a plan in place just in case.
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  • Alanna says:

    I would absolutely say something. I live in Atlanta and we went through something similar with our big storm at the end of January. I am lucky to work from home just a mile from the center, so I picked up my son before it got crazy. But a lot of other parents weren’t so lucky. Then it was a waiting game to figure out when they would reopen. A lot of other parents (and teachers) had similar concerns, so the director started a Facebook page to keep everyone updated. It was great with the current storm. Like Jessi said, you can try to have a positive conversation about making better plans for the future.

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