When the Oklahoma City public schools are out for a snow day, teacher Jay LeForce is tasked with keeping his two daughters engaged and entertained. LeForce has learned to get on top of the situation.
“It will get difficult if you don’t get something going,” he said.
He’s had a lot of experience this year.
Classes were canceled Tuesday due to poor driving conditions. It was the second snow day this week and the 10th for the school year.
Midmorning he was at a pet store with daughters Laken, 8, and Harper, 5.
“They’ve talked me into the idea of coming here and looking around,” LeForce said. “They want a hamster.”
He wanted to get out of the store without a pet and move on to the gym at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, where he is the physical education teacher. It’s a place the girls can run and play.
Laken and Harper attend Quail Creek Elementary and enjoy playing school at home, so their dad includes homework and reading into snow day activities.
Although his wife, Brooke, has to go to work on school snow days, both grandmas are available to help entertain the girls, LeForce said.
Single parent Shelley Reeves said making snow day arrangements for her daughter can be stressful. Lilly, 7, is a student at Wilson Elementary.
Reeves, who is a state employee, also had the day off Monday, but had to return to work Tuesday.
“Fortunately, they told us the night before,” she said. “This time, my parents were in town.”
One snow day her boss let her work from home; another time Lilly went to play at a friend’s house. Tuesday, two Facebook friends posted they had taken their children to the office, Reeves said. “And I’ve done that, too.”
Although it can be frustrating, Reeves understands why school officials cancel classes for icy roads and extremely cold weather.
“I think everyone is doing the best they can,” she said.
The Oklahoma City school district’s 2013-14 calendar had seven snow days built in. After those were used and an eighth snow day was taken, the school board voted to make up the day by delaying the start of spring break one day. It now will begin Tuesday.
Tierney Tinnin, district spokeswoman, said officials are weighing their options for making up this week’s two snow days. Options include adding minutes to the end of each school day or adding days to the end of the year. Borrowing more days from spring break is not an option since the board doesn’t meet again for two weeks, Tinnin said.
“This has been a really rough winter,” Tinnin said. “We will weigh our options and present our best plan to the board.”