Some people love snow days; others await spring
School officials aren't the only ones cringing when snow is in the forecast.
Some parents, teachers and students are ready to get back on normal school schedules; while others still welcome snow days.
Jennifer Zettlemoyer of Lansford said her son, Isaiah, a third-grade student at Panther Valley, loves snows. He just wishes when it does snow, that it wouldn't make the roads so dangerous and cause school closures anymore because he is looking forward to a long summer vacation and camping.
Kerry Uher, a Panther Valley High School teacher, said that students' motivation to learn are affected by snow days and early dismissals.
"As educators, it oftentimes feels as if responsibility for student performance lies squarely on our shoulders," she said. "As if there aren't enough problems to contend with to wrestle student interest, the piled on distractions of snow breaks are the most counterproductive. They foster a casual attitude on the part of a student.
"Once one hears a dismissal first thing in the morning, it becomes the daily mantra of being unfocused until dismissal. When a delay is in place, it displaces the sense of urgency to learn with the fight to get in as much as possible but so the student still understands," Uher continued. "On a day where the forecast calls for future inclement weather, the presupposition is that 'Oh well we probably won't have school anyway tomorrow, so why ... do anything!' In my career I have had everything from a student jumping out of his seat to lift and spin me around to writing up students for their nasty behavior once they've decided to turn their brains off because they want to leave and cop disrespectful attitudes because a teacher wants to accomplish something.
"As a teacher, I'm willing to do anything to get these kids to regain focus, but it's almost always a defeat. It's like that old grandfatherly adage of 'climbing uphill to school both ways' but instead of braving the weather, it's braving the aftermath! Kids are kids and to a certain level it's exciting. But there is also an ever increasing casualness that I see more with every storm."
Shalmar Herlihy of Summit Hill said her son, Keegan, a second-grade student at St. Joseph's Regional Academy, Jim Thorpe, enjoys the snow days because he gets to stay in his pajamas, and play with Legos and Power Rangers all day.
Jeanine Veron Snyder of Coaldale said her children Mckenzie, Ridge and Henry, who all attend Panther Valley Elementary, love having off in the winter months.
"Sleigh riding and building snowman are just as fun to them as swimming and riding bikes," she said. "Unfortunately they miss out on valuable education days. Make up days at the end of the year are just to meet the required 180 days a year. In my opinion the 'added on days' are a waste of time! Teachers have a hard time keeping kids attention, school work is next to none and they have lots of free time in class.
"PSSAs are taken in March. The state should extend the test dates to allow students and teachers time to prepare for the test. I feel like teachers and students this year will not be evaluated fairly because they had less time to prepare for the PSSAs this year," Snyder added.
Sheri Ryan of Lansford, whose daughter Cassidy is a sophomore at Panther Valley High School, said her daughter still looks forward to the delays and days off with great anticipation.
"She scours Twitter every morning in hope of notification that she can go back to bed," Ryan said. "Today she was extremely disappointed that other schools have two-hour delay and that she did not. I am quite certain that she will be highly agitated in the summer when she has to make up those days."
Jenn Weikel of Lansford said her sons Dylan and Noah, who are in first grade and kindergarten at Panther Valley, said they "don't quite understand that all the days they get to sleep in and play at home are days that they won't get to enjoy this summer."
"To them a day off is a day off," she said. "As a parent it makes it difficult to keep them in a routine and interested in school work when they have so many days off, so I can just imagine how hard it is for the teachers."