Top News

Contingency plan for a stormy day


News that Nova Scotia teachers voted to reject the latest contract offer from the province might well be at the forefront of people’s thoughts, particularly those with school-aged children.

But also discussed this week was a pilot project proposed to ease the loss of school time due to storms. That is, granted, a bit more of a seasonal thing, and not something people are thinking about at the moment, but they will when winter rolls around.

Anyone who has tried to follow the rhyme or reason of the exercise of cancelling school due to snow storms will know the ensuing frustration, particularly when the forecast doesn’t pan out as tempestuous as expected. It occasionally means a cancellation when there appears to be no call for it.

Chignecto-Central Regional School Board in this pilot is aiming to reduce the number of full-day cancellations by focusing on what is forecast later in the school day and, rather than calling school off in the morning, sending the students home before the weather gets really bad.

In other words, the plan should result in greater likelihood of students missing an hour or two of school rather than a full day.

The flip side of this procedure is providing advance notice for parents and guardians so they can make arrangements, particularly for smaller children who will be getting out earlier. That had always been a sticking point in altering the routine, making half-days of school, since parents with busy schedules could suddenly find themselves having to make emergency plans to be home.

As well, the intent is to publicize the early call on the schools’ social media platforms early in the day. The decision would also be sent to local media outlets.

It sounds like a step toward improving the odds. Most people expect school to be cancelled on occasion during winter, but when the days pile up and threaten to total 10 or so the calls mount for some sort of solution. On the other hand, people also get pretty upset when a bus slides off the road, with many calling for more precaution.

And perhaps other ideas will eventually be brought to the mix, such as more flexibility regarding special events when it’s felt the curriculum has been compromised by cancellations.

Like any kind of contingency planning, the workings of this pilot will not likely please everyone. But it looks like an improvement.

Recent Stories