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Thread: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

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    Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Greetings from the snowy and cold Washington, D.C. area!... Brrrr....

    I am not certain how many of you may have read or saw President Obama’s comments last week regarding the closing of this daughter’s school because of a small snow and ice storm that decided to grace the Washington, D.C. area. [video:2dto8aiv]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RypU4sairQ[/video:2dto8aiv]

    When a few of you from MR inquired as to if it was really true that schools close due to snow and could not believe such things, I tried to explain how it is in this area and now that today, we have snow yet again, I thought about starting a small thread on the topic. I actually thought about putting this under Rtyom’s "Silly Questions Topic" as to most people not from the DC area (and even some from the DC area) it does seem quite silly to cancel school even when they are only forecasting snow!

    It might help to understand the geography of this area. From where I live, I can drive 15-20 minutes and be in Washington, DC or in farm country (picking fresh fruit and seeing cows). Roads can be eight lane divided highways or two lane winding death traps (great for racing) all within one exit of each other.

    The school system my daughters are in covers 497 square miles and serves over 139,000 students (of which over 96,000 ride a bus to school) and it is the 16th largest in U.S. All this factors in when there is the slightest chance of snow or ice. Add to this to the fact that there are a number of people who live in this area that are not from the United States (they are diplomats, scientist at the National Institutes of Health or immigrants), many of whom have never seen snow and have absolutely no idea how to drive in it and you have a recipe for disaster!

    There is a running joke among the locals here, people who have grown up here and know what to expect every time it even looks or smells like snow “Abandon your cars now!” People actually do this. They will leave their cars on the side of the road and just walk because either 1) They are too afraid to drive or 2) the traffic is just not moving and it is faster to walk.

    So, it is for all these reasons that school systems just simply decide to pack it up and shut down. Why bother with the insanity of driving up mountain roads behind a driver who has no clue how to get up that hill and is just going to slide right back down into your bus full of kids?

    Your thoughts????
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Hi, Rockzmom!
    Im sorry, my English level not enought to ensure understand at all your message (:
    But i just want to say, what today (4 february) in Moscow we had a realy big snowfall too!
    And the situation on the roads was awful!
    But... it seems like we used to it...

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    As far as i know, in Russia we have no school buses at all. And we (people in big towns) used to our school sistem - it is normal then children go to the nearest school, and it is realy near.
    It is difficult to me to understend how school system may covers 497 square miles... one school building for 497 square miles?

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shurick
    Hi, Rockzmom!
    Im sorry, my English level not enought to ensure understand at all your message (:
    But i just want to say, what today (4 february) in Moscow we had a realy big snowfall too!
    And the situation on the roads was awful!
    But... it seems like we used to it...
    I'm sorry, my English may not be good enough for me to understand all of your message; however, I just want to say, that today, 4 February, in Moscow, we had a really big snowfall too! And just like in your area, the situation on the roads here were awful!
    Hi Shurick... I rewrote your reply as I would write it. I hope that is okay with you. If you ever have any difficulty understanding my expressions or word choices, please let me know and I will try to clarify or see if we can get some help from one of the other people on the forum!
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shurick
    It is difficult for me to understand how aschool system [s:fk7yheka]may[/s:fk7yheka] covers 497 square miles... is there only one school building for 497 square miles?
    Shurick,
    In our County, there are a total of 199 school buildings for the 497 square miles. Here are how they are broken down:

    Elementary Schools (preK-5): 130
    Middle Schools (6-: 38
    High Schools (9-12): 25
    Career and Technology Center: 1
    Special or Alternative: 5

    Children are assigned a school near where they live based upon "Boundary Maps" and may take a school bus to their local school if:

    Elementary school students living more than 1 mile of walking distance from school
    Middle school students living more than 1.5 miles of walking distance from school
    High school students living more than 2.0 miles of walking distance from school
    Students who face hazardous walking conditions regardless of distance from school (multilane highways, construction areas, etc.) as determined by the School Department of Transportation.

    Additionally, students may transfer to other schools within the County. As an example, both of my girls did not attend our "local" Elementary School and instead went to what we call a "Magnet" school. This Magnet School was for Spanish Immersion and they were only taught in Spanish while attending this school (they had a subject of English). The school was about a 15-20 minute drive (without traffic) from our home and a bus was available for them; however, it would have taken them 45 minutes on a school bus.

    There are other Magnet Schools within the County, some for math, science, languages, computers and arts. For Middle School, once again, both of my girls attend a magnet Middle School, this time for the Creative and Performing Arts. Entrance into these Magnet Schools is very difficult. Sometimes it is based upon academics or talent, other times it is based upon a lottery system. Having these additional Magnet Schools means that children from all over the County are traveling to these schools (sometimes over an hour and a half by school bus) and this compounds the problems we have when there is bad weather here.

    I hope you have understood what I have written, if not, please ask me to clarify anything!
    Rockzmom.
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Well, everything is being practical. We, Russians, are not used to be practical...
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Rtyom... your avatar! I always thought life was a test and I had failed!!!!
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    It depends.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Shurick,

    One other thing about bussing… When I grew up (in the Stone Age) they actually had “desegregation laws” which forced children to go to schools that were not in their own local communities. For me, as I grew up in an almost all white neighborhood, this meant that children from almost all black neighborhoods rode school busses to our local schools so that we would have a racially diverse school. The children in this case came from about a half hour away by car. I don’t recall how long it took by school bus.

    I remember it very clearly as a child that the young children did not fit in and were not pleased about coming to our school, they were actually very depressed. There was one girl named Paulette, who every day for about the first month or two would become violently ill during school. Upon seeing her in such distress everyday (and since I was a social misfit even in Elementary school) I befriended her. In exchange, I ended up being the only white girl in my school to learn how to Double Dutch!

    Of course, I was never as good as any of these!
    [video:3s6yll2a]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6Tub5_NXOA[/video:3s6yll2a]
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    back when I lived in Scotland, I found it extremely funny that most of the institutions were being shot down due to snow. And a very small amount of it, mind you!!! My friend explained it to me then, that it's mostly because of the fact they didn't change their tyres to the winter ones and since nearly everyone is getting to their workplace in a car, it would cause danger on the roads. Suppose it makes sense if you put it that way.
    I think there is a rule in Poland that they shut schools down when the temperature outside is below -20 for at least 2 days in a row and the temperature inside the school buildings is lower than 18 (I'm talking Celcius, of course). Dunno for sure, I think it just really depends on the region as well. Nothing about snow, as far as I know.

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Well, I remember one particularly cold winter when we had -43 °C (-45.4 °F) here in Moscow. It was early 80s. Schools of course were closed, but nobody in the neighborhood (I mean children) stayed home. We were all outside playing and enjoying the sudden holidays ))). It was -26 °C (-14.8 °F) only four days ago and it wasn't pretty. Even my car refused to start the engine. )))
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    -43 would be way too much for me to handle! I've got shivers down my spine at the very thought of it!

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Well, since I'm in Florida, we never have snow days. Instead, we have Hurricane days, which can range from "Oh, hey, it's just raining a lot, I'd better stay home," all the way to "Repent sinners! The end is nigh!"

    Though it is ridiculously cold right now, windy and all that too. It's miserable. We Floridians don't really have a middle-ground for cold weather clothing. We either have huge jackets that would be way too much for this kind of weather, or t-shirts.

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    It was -26 °C (-14.8 °F) only four days ago and it wasn't pretty. Even my car refused to start the engine. )))
    Ramil.....I think you have made Rockzana's decision very easy for her... she is NOT moving to Russia! No Way, No How!

    Ah, and I think those dreams she had of visiting for the winter Olympics... they have been called off as well.

    BTW, the -26°C, is that Global warming?
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jive Professor
    Though it is ridiculously cold right now, windy and all that too. It's miserable.
    Jive Professor! Welcome to MR!!

    My Dad is in Florida and called me yesterday complaining about the cold snap you all are having down there!!!
    45° F .....Oh please!!!!!!!!!
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    It was -26 °C (-14.8 °F) only four days ago and it wasn't pretty. Even my car refused to start the engine. )))
    Ramil.....I think you have made Rockzana's decision very easy for her... she is NOT moving to Russia! No Way, No How!
    Oh no, summer isn't that bad ))) And these frosts happen only in extreme winter and last only for a few days. This is extreme weather even for Moscow, though it happens nearly every winter ))).

    Ah, and I think those dreams she had of visiting for the winter Olympics... they have been called off as well.
    By the way, the winter Olympics of 2014 will happen in Sochi which is located on 43°35′47″N (about the lattitute of Boston). It is considered warm South here )))

    BTW, the -26°C, is that Global warming?
    It IS getting warmer here ))) year by year by some fraction of a degree, I think. By the way, I did some googling and found out that in Yakutia, for example, children are allowed not to attend the school when the temperature drops below -50 °C (-58 °F).

    http://english.pravda.ru/russia/history ... -yakutia-0

    ...the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold is at Verkhoyansk, where the temperatures reached as low as −67.8 ℃ (−90 ℉ ) in 1892, and at Oymyakon, where the temperatures reached as low as −67.7 ℃ (−89.9 ℉ ) in 1933.

    They actually live there!
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    ...the Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold is at Verkhoyansk, where the temperatures reached as low as −67.8 ℃ (−90 ℉ ) in 1892, and at Oymyakon, where the temperatures reached as low as −67.7 ℃ (−89.9 ℉ ) in 1933.

    They actually live there!
    Rockzana says they have ISSUES!!!
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Rockzana says they have ISSUES!!!
    No, it's all about diamonds. Every fourth diamond in the world is mined there.
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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by Jive Professor
    Though it is ridiculously cold right now, windy and all that too. It's miserable.
    Jive Professor! Welcome to MR!!

    My Dad is in Florida and called me yesterday complaining about the cold snap you all are having down there!!!
    45° F .....Oh please!!!!!!!!!
    Спасибо!

    Yeah, it's uncharacteristically cold right now, and windy too, which is odd for how far inland I am in Gainesville. Our friends from Italy are completely confused by this weather, since they heard it was green all year round in Florida (which, most years, it is).

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    Re: Thoughts about Snow and Ice and school snow days!

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Hi Shurick... I rewrote your reply as I would write it. I hope that is okay with you. If you ever have any difficulty understanding my expressions or word choices, please let me know and I will try to clarify or see if we can get some help from one of the other people on the forum!
    Thanks, Rockzmom! Sometimes than I understand every separate words, I can't be sure I understand right all sentence.
    You don't have to clarify your expressions here, not only me read this, but thanks anyway.

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