Elementary, my Dear High Schoolers


Surveyor Archives

Washington Alumni on a snow day.

Abby Throndson, News Editor

On the morning of Dec. 4, many Washington students were disappointed when they found out that the Cedar Rapids elementary schools had a two-hour delay due to bad road conditions. Later, the district decided to cancel classes for the elementary schools, this aggravated students even more.

The district received the weather service advisory at 7:11. “The timing of the morning’s weather meant for a delayed decision that would not be ideal for families or our transportation department… Buses were already on the road and picking up students even before it was icing.  Most staff members and students at the middle schools and high schools would have been well on their way to (or already at) school,” Superintendent Brad Buck said in an email to the CRCSD staff at 11:47.

A few students got into accidents on their way to school that morning. Laurynn Porazil and Grace DeWolf, both ’19, slide down a hill into a street sign because their streets hadn’t been treated yet. “I wasn’t stopping and (I) freaked out because I was either going to slide into oncoming traffic on a busy road, or run into a stop sign to stop myself,” DeWolf said.

Buck reminded staff members about the factors that influenced his decision, including the temperature and wind chill, the amount and type of precipitation, and the timing of the event. Buck was in contact with city crews and found out that many roads would be treated by 3 o’clock, but not in time for the elementary students to get to school safely, even after a delay.

Washington Art Teacher Elizabeth Schmelzer was not happy about the situation, “At one point (I) was sliding backwards down the street because my car couldn’t stay put at the stop sign.” Then, after getting to school, she received a call telling her that she needed to get her son from kindergarten. Schmelzer left during iLearning to get her son and take him to childcare.

There were even some Washington students who were put in a similar situation. “During my iLearning period, I had to go and pick up my sister and take her home because they didn’t have school anymore,” said Justin Scherrman ’21.

High school students felt that their schools should also have been delayed, because a large amount of students drive themselves to school, and are less experienced than the people taking the elementary kids to school. Buck did include this in his list of factors that affect his decision, but didn’t elaborate further.

Many high school students wondered if we would have to make up for the day at the end of the year. Buck did address this in his email, “With the cancellation of the elementary schools today, we now have 20 hours of scheduled school time beyond the 1,080 (number of hours required by the state). As the winter weather season continues, we will provide an update on potential implications for make-up days, but at this time, this day would not be made up.”