January 15, 2009

School or no school?

By Danielle Abbott

As a child, waking up and looking out the window to see a complete white-out, blowing winds and snow-covered streets may be a welcomed sign. The glimmering hope of a cancelled day of school can spark a flame of energy in any student’s weekly regimen. For Brad Rinas, Superintendent at the Washburn School, his day begins a bit differently. On days that the weather is less than favorable, Rinas is up and working by 5 a.m., struggling to figure out how Mother Nature will progress within the next three hours. When evaluating the winter weather, Rinas takes several factors into consideration. The forecast for the day is a major key, along with the times that advisories and warnings are eliminated. "You look at the weather, and the time that you’re dealing with and then you look at the day’s forecast," Rinas said. Rinas also takes some time to drive around and physically check the roads for safety. In relation to Monday’s one-hour postponement, Rinas said "At 5:00 I thought there was no way that we would even consider having school." The one thing that students, faculty and parents alike can learn is that the weather can change in a heartbeat. Monday morning might have looked unbearable, but within the hours prior to school’s operation, the weather had broken up a bit. Rinas also contacts other school districts’ superintendents, to compare their conditions and decisions to Washburn’s options. "I call other superintendents from other schools to see what they are going to do. I was doing that yesterday (Monday) and trying to decide," Rinas said, "We were right in the middle of Wilton, who still ran two hours late, and up north where they were cancelled."

The Weather Network