Snowed in before Snowdown!


Snow day called on January 3rd, 2023 outside of students window.


This year has been a particularly heavy snow season for Durango, Colorado. As a result of this heavy snow, DHS has had five snow days before the end of January, which is two days past the snow day limit in Colorado. How will we make them up? What changes will this cause? Questions such as these have been circling heads at DHS. Here are some of the answers to the many questions. 

Snow day experiences differ if you live farther away or closer to  school. Kassidy Winn, a freshman at DHS that lives farther away from the school explains, “When a snow day is called there is not much we can do or plan. The roads are very bad and slippery. If we wanted to drive in, it would take more than an hour or so.” That is so she could get to school on time on a delayed school day. The delay and then the snow day is especially hard, in Kassidy’s case because her brother has to get to school earlier than her which means she was, “stuck at [her] brother’s school all day. It was very frustrating and annoying.” She thinks that, “delays are pointless in that case.”

Accumulated snow outside students house on a snow day called on January 17, 2023.

For DHS freshman, Kara O’Donnell who lives close to the school, snow days call for catching up on homework, studying, or even hanging out with friends and going sledding. Kara explains that she would, “rather have the delay first so we have some kind of idea of what is happening but the snow days straight are nice if they know beforehand.” When asked if she thinks it affects people who live farther away she replied, “most people ride buses so I don’t think so.” When asked her opinion on making up the snow days, Kara thinks that they should, “take away teacher work days instead of adding days onto the end of the year.” 

Snow days also prove to be challenging for teachers. Ms. Long, a first year FFA teacher at DHS explains that, “[the snow days] messed up my plans so much.” The delay and then the snow day threw her off because she was, “already getting ready and then all of the sudden it changed.” When asked if it pushes all the work behind she replies that she “doesn’t feel right sending homework out on a snow day” which overall messes up the school work for students. Snow days have their bright side too. Ms. Long did enjoy having the time off to “sleep in.” 

DHS sent out an email to parents and guardians regarding how snow days are determined. You can see that a snow day is called via email, text, instagram, etc. Principal Hoerl explains that, “we have people driving in at four something in the morning so they get the initial “hey this road is bad.” This information goes through other people as they check the forecast. Mr. Hoerl says that, “there are a lot of factors that play into whether it’s a delay or a closure but also that call is made in collaboration with a lot of different people.” When asked why students don’t get the email or text regarding the snow day he responded with, “I will make sure that happens.” Some of the ways we could make the snow days up include, “taking away professional development days… taking away early release Mondays (which is not the most ideal)…adding ten minutes to the day… on finals to not let out at 1:20… the last and final option is adding days [at the end of the year]” If we did have to add days it would affect finals but not graduation. 

Whether you live close, in the middle, or far away from DHS, snow days come with pros and cons. Remember that while the time off is refreshing, it does come with consequences.