As many Leesville students, parents and faculty remember, last year’s winter was one for the books. On average, the RDU area receives 6.74 inches of snow per year, and last year the area received over 8 inches.
Thanks to two major February snowstorms and a plethora of other dustings and freezing rain events, Winter 2015 saw its fair share of snow days. There were eight snow days to be exact, to the enjoyment of many students and even some parents.
However, when it came time for Wake County to schedule makeup days, their system for doing so took some criticism. After rumors spread that spring break was safe and tentative dates were released that included Saturday makeup days, the board flip-flopped and ultimately published a revised calendar that cut students spring break short. Many families resented this decision, and those who had planned trips, many of which were non-refundable, went on their planned trips anyway.
This year is an El Niño year, and climatologist expect it to be one of the strongest on record. Historically, when this weather phenomenon has occurred, the east coast, and Raleigh specifically, have seen especially high snowfall totals. In the five “strong” El Ninos to affect Raleigh dating back to 1957, the average snowfall has been 8.7 inches — two inches above what Raleigh normally sees. Because of the strong El Nino conditions, forecasters have predicted the south will see normal temperatures but above normal precipitation, so more snow is a serious possibility in Wake County.
To prevent the chaos and frustration that resulted from last years make-up day debacle, Wake County developed a new and improved calendar for families in the school district. The calendar includes Saturdays to be used as full make-up days and clearly marked the days that they would use to avoid any confusion.
They also discussed how they would like to improve their public communication to ensure that everyone is notified and no one is left out. Last year, students and parents alike relied on Twitter, Facebook, and local TV outlets to hear the news on the snow days.
The official make up days for the 2015-16 school year are listed on the Wake County School System website. None of these days conflict with spring break; however only time will tell if parents will like the new calendar. For more information on how to stay informed regarding school closures, delays, or make up day announcements, you can go online and visit wcpss.net.