As my tires lock up and I glide along the ice, rolling through stop signs unintentionally, I ask myself over and over why I am risking my safety to get to school. I have to wake up even earlier to give myself enough time to go 15 miles per hour down Wildcat Reserve Parkway along with hundreds of other kids, all to ensure they make it to a class that almost everyone is late for anyway.
When schools say their number one priority is student safety, this should include parking lots. Teenage drivers all put together into one icy parking lot that has hardly been cleared out creates a recipe for disaster. Many accidents are caused on the way to school and in the parking lots because of the icy conditions.
The care for safety needs to extend outside the school grounds. If students can’t get to school safely, then why should they be expected to come?
Many kids end up missing almost an entire class, if not more, because of the weather. This takes away valuable learning time for students and wastes teacher’s time if they have to reteach everything anyways. We can solve this issue by calling more delays or doing a soft start for mornings. Classes don’t start until the delay time, but students are welcome to come any time from 7:30 a.m. and on.
Another way to solve this issue would have the school systems look into doing a version of online school for snow days. Teachers could use Google Classroom and post either videos, papers or online assignments. Not only could this solve the problem of schools having to add minutes or days on at the end of the year to account for the time missed in school, it would also ensure safety for those that attend that school.
For example, STEM High School in Highlands Ranch has the teachers assign classwork for students to do at home. Not only do students continue their education, they get to do it from the warmth of their own bed.
Even though this idea of remote schooling poses problems such as students who don’t have computers at home, the overall benefit to the community outweighs those problems. It would keep students, teachers and any parents that drive, safe.
DCSD can encourage staff members to have assignments for each unit that kids can do at home, just in case. As I am aware that it is more work for teachers, it would still benefit everyone in the long run.