The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

The Student News Site of Bellevue East High School

The Tom Tom

Snow days affect schedules

The last snowflake. Suzanna Budlong clears her driveway of all the snow, instructing her daughter on where to start shoveling with her. In early January, Bellevue got 8 inches of snow and drifts in a storm and left the city shoveling tons of snow. “It was cold outside and the snow was heavy, so we went out three separate times to finish our sidewalk and driveway,” Budlong said. Photo by Emily Hollars

The recurring amount of snow days in early January has forced students and teachers alike to rethink their plans and stay home.

In the first two weeks back at school, BPS had three snow/cold days, which is the same amount the district usually has in an entire school year, and the amount aligns with the local weather conditions Bellevue has been having so far in the new year. According to, Nebraska usually gets about 27 of snow inches per winter, and the Metro area already has received 14.9 inches thus far.

“It was somewhat unusual for all three (snow days) to happen in a 2-week span,” Superintendent Jeff Rippe said.  

The decision to ultimately call off school and have a snow day is made by Rippe, although many other people help him decide. The decision includes many factors, such as temperature and weather conditions, but isn’t always a simple one. Even if there is just one factor at play, it could cancel school for the whole day.

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“There are many factors that go into calling a snow/cold day,” Rippe said. “We work with the National Weather Service, Offutt Air Force Base, the city of Bellevue, and other Metro school districts to help make the decision. We monitor forecasts, watch street conditions, and the ability to get students to our buildings while determining if we can have school or not.” 

After a snow day is called, everyone in the district is affected in different ways. Oftentimes, people are able to get back on track after a single day off. However, when school is canceled day after day, many students found it difficult to come back when the weather is finally better.

“The snow days have been making it harder to go back to school because it keeps making the week shorter, so I’m not used to the normal five-day week,” freshman Alayna Dunlap said. 

Not only are snow days affecting mood, but they also impact people’s schedules. Teachers have to move their content to the next day, which doesn’t always work when multiple snow days happen in a row. Sometimes, teachers can change assignments to be at-home or shorten them, but that doesn’t always work.

“Sometimes I will have to cut activities for students which is a disappointment for me and for them,” instructor Karen Ziegler said. 

These decisions teachers have to make directly impact the students and their schedules for the rest of the year. When teachers have to cancel or move school work to account for multiple days missed, it affects the class even months later.  Classes need to get through required material before finals, and when things get moved, students notice.

“My math class has changed because I was supposed to have a test on one of the snow days and it got pushed,” Dunlap said. 

One thing that hasn’t happened recently in Bellevue is making up snow days. BPS exceeds the number of hours needed to be in school for elementary, middle, and high school, which is the main reason the district does not need to make up snow day hours at the end of the year. Only after over a week’s worth of snow days would the district consider adding on to our school year.

“Although we have plenty of days built into the calendar, at some point the district may decide to start making up days to make sure the curriculum could be taught and covered for the school year,” Rippe said. “I could see that happening if we were to have 10 or more snow/cold days.”  

Determining snow days have a lot that goes into them and a lot of planning because of them. Whether people view them as glorious or an inconvenience, they are something that happens most school years, and it just so happens that it’s been this year more than most.

“I appreciate working for a district that honors snow days and so do my kids,” Ziegler said. 

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Palm, Reporter
Hi! My name is Charlotte, and I am a new reporter for the Tom Tom. I am an Eagle Scout and I love everything outdoors and nature. I’m also part of JDS dance studio in Plattsmouth. I love to go on adventures and some cool places I’ve been to are Alaska and the Florida Keys. Hiking and backpacking are some of my favorite activities.

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