Dear Maggie – January 11, 2024

Dear Maggie —

I am shaking in my snow boots over here!  My husband is obsessed with the weather and is constantly checking his weather app.  This results in him shouting the forecast up the stairs while I’m working, thinking he’ll get me just as amped up as he is.  It’s like living with Steve Templeton!!  So every few hours I’ll hear 📣 “50% CHANCE OF SNOW SUNDAY!!” or “LOW OF 4 DEGREES ON TUESDAY!!” and “HIGH OF 10 NEXT FRIDAY!” 📣 I am about to lose it!  I’m from the south (could you hear my twang in your writing?), so I despise the cold, and don’t even get me started on snow 😖.  Now, these children have only been back at school for 6 days after being home for 2 weeks. Needless to say, the idea of a potential snow day sends chills down my spine.  Alright, I’m sure you’re wondering why I am telling you all of this… well, I am just hoping you can get the scoop on how Mr. Holley feels about snow days?  I’ve been around since the Hesed Era where she’d rather cut a foot off before she’d call a snow day.  Since Mrs. Hesed’s departure, our admin’s position on snow days has swung from one end of the spectrum to the other. Could you eavesdrop – or whatever you do to get all the tea – and find out what I can expect this year if we ever end up getting snow that actually sticks to the ground? Thanks!

— Arctic-Hating Amy

Dear Arctic-Hating —

Thanks for inadvertently reminding me that I need to block out my preferred dates at my timeshare in Boca for this year!  No way am I going to risk having to be in St Louis in January! 🥶 I am still down here with Bernie and Terry (we’re having a blast, thanks for asking…😒) and I’m not going to lie; I really did NOT want to check my inbox – but I’ve been told that I’m “contractually obligated” to work while school is in session, sooo here I am! #YoureBringingMeDownMan.  I’d just like to see them try to enforce that “contract”, but I’m not looking to get fired.  So I will be working remotely this week and responding from the lanai with a Kiss on the Lips in hand.  Don’t make it weird!  Kiss on the Lips is a delicious cocktail made with frozen mango, rum, vodka, peach schnapps, and a KISS of drizzled grenadine!!  Sip at your own risk!

Okie dokie… since I am not in town to do my usual snooping, I arranged for a Zoom call with Mr. Holley to discuss his thoughts on snow days. That man has the patience of a saint (takes one to know one!) for taking a Zoom call with a seemingly empty room (ya know, the whole invisible thing doesn’t lend itself to virtual meetings). So, here’s what he told me during my interrogation –

  • Archdiocese schools are required to schedule 174 days with a built-in three snow days for a total of 177 school days. Rules is rules, man! You can always schedule more, but most schools – including SMOS – schedule three snow days. 
  • His general philosophy on snow days is to err on the side of caution.  He says he has seen too many parents and teachers put themselves into dangerous driving conditions.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  Therefore, he will generally call it a snow day if he thinks it is a dangerous situation.  
  • There are two options if you use all of your snow days.  First, you can add days to your schedule – Presidents Day, Spring Break, etc.  The second and what he thinks is most preferable is to call a virtual learning day.  These can still count as school days, and we would not have to add days to the calendar.  If it comes to that, something will have been put in place.  🤞 things don’t get this desperate!
  • Being the elder millennial he is, he’s on a text chain with other area principals and they chat (boy would I love to be a fly on the wall of those group chats).  Other things he takes into consideration are what the public schools are doing and when the weather is rolling in.  He says it is not necessarily the amount/what kind of weather we are getting, but more about when it happens *cough cough* during driving times.  Father Vien is also consulted when making the final decision. 
  • As far as when he will call snow days, he told me that he prefers to call the night before, but it is not always possible, in which case he will try to call it by 5:30 am at the latest. *People are ACTUALLY awake at 5:30 am?!  I always thought that was just a myth. 🤷 Well, ya learn something new every day!*  
  • Lastly, he cannot be bribed in either direction by hot chocolate… I asked… for a friend.

Our conversation got sidetracked a few times (he’s a chatty fellow!), but ultimately he says that like any decision, you do your best and pray it’s the right choice. He recounted that there have been times when he called a snow day and nothing happened and he didn’t call one when he should have.  Just like with anything, we should all give grace and understanding that Mr Holley will make the decision that he believes is best for the community.  

Well, Arctic-Hating, I hope this warms your soul a bit to have some insight…. but I hate to break it to you – your husband is right – next week’s weather looks brutal!  If I had to guess, there will be a lot of indoor recess.  Who am I kidding, these city kids are tough as nails, they’ll all be out there in shorts and t-shirts while the poor recess monitors slowly turn to ice!  I know a few parents who will be regretting their volunteer choices come next Tuesday!

— Maggie


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