Washoe County School District announced this morning that it was changing back to a “one size fits all” approach to inclement weather days. The announcement came after hundreds of teachers, parents, and students complained to the district on social media this morning about what they called the district’s confusing approach to regionalize delayed school openings and “digital school days.”
Schools in some areas were on a two-hour delay, and others were closed with students expected to participate online as a “digital day.” Parents with students in different schools cited difficulty trying to figure out what was meant to happen with their children.
Teachers, who live all over the region, said it wasn’t fair to expect them to commute from regions with closed schools in order to get to their open site.
Many responded with anger and snarky memes.
WCSD spokesperson Victoria Campbell said that the district prides itself on being responsive to the community.
“In the past, our District heard complaints from families and staff members who opposed a ‘one size fits all’ approach to weather-related delays and Digital School Days, due to the fact that weather conditions can differ greatly in the 6,300 square miles in which our students and families live and employees work,” she said. “As a result of these complaints, we created and implemented a regional approach to designating Digital School Days and two-hour delays. We did so because we sincerely believed that this approach would alleviate their concerns and counter their criticisms.”
The opposite happened.
“Y’all played us harder than Maroon 5 did with ‘Sweet Victory,'” one Twitter user responded to the district this morning.
Another wrote: “You’re putting so many lives in danger, for both teachers and students, and you wonder why so many kids DON’T come to school on a two-hour delay. It’s not the end of the world to cancel school. That’s literally why you created the digital day bullshit. Use it.”
Campbell said that based on such feedback, WCSD is going back to the old way.
“We acknowledge that the system does not meet the needs of students, families, and staff members in a District of our size once we implemented the system for the first time today,” she said. “Because we are a continuous learning and listening organization, we have reassessed the situation and decided to immediately return to the original District-wide approach of implementing Digital School Days or two-hour delays.
“In the future, we will use the notification system to which our students, families, and staff members are accustomed to declare District-wide weather-related changes in schedules.”
Of course, you can’t please everybody.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.