After the melt

Winter storm continues to affect community 


Photo by Abby Elliott

Snow covers Old Redwater Rd. in Wake Village on Feb. 15. The winter storm forced multiple roadways to shutdown.

Story by Dakota Dennard

Teachers scramble to get their work done, student athletes try to make up for the time they lost and the school staff attempts to hold the pieces together. While the snow proved to have its effects on families, businesses and schools, the repercussions remain after the snow has since melted.  

Although you can take away days from summer vacation to make up for those lost, the state testing days are to remain the same. Teachers who teach a testing class (Biology, English l, English ll, Algebra l, U.S. History and AP classes) have to decide whether to eliminate a unit or rush through it not giving a kid the attention they need.

“For my classes, the snow days did not affect the actual curriculum since those concepts still need to be taught, however, it will affect the pacing and methods with which those concepts are delivered,” history teacher Emily Szmaski said. “Since students were not going to be here Monday or Tuesday regardless, we are only really catching up from two B days and an A day, which makes getting back on schedule easier than making up five school days.”

The icy roads have also affected the lunch routine as well. The supply trucks have been delayed due to the icy roads. The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) are scrambling to prepare lunch for Monday. They have everything under control. While they likely have enough supplies in the freezer, that’s still not a lot of time to prepare. The roads are still dangerous, so this could put the drivers at risk.

“The winter weather has affected food service in several ways,” Director of Child Nutrition Christie Lammers said. “The poor weather conditions increase the risk for power outages in kitchens so temperatures of freezers and coolers have to be checked even though school is not in session. This practice is part of our district’s food safety plan.”

our vendors have had to cancel shipments of foods and reschedule those for later dates. This can have an impact on our ability to create menus that match what we have published on our website.”

— Christie Lammers, Director of Child Nutrition

Not only do the snow days affect education, they also affect sports. The sport teams had to cancel their practices. This game inhibits the athletes from performing their best. Baseball’s first and second games of the season have been canceled. Although upperclassmen have had some form of high school sports, freshmen have not had a chance to experience the drastic change. They are left unprepared and unacclimated. This applies to the upcoming track and field season. Swim also has their state meet coming up despite them missing out on a week of practice.

“Baseball is a game of repetition, and missing several days can set players back a little bit from where they would normally be this time of year,” head baseball coach John McClure said. “We were fortunate to practice on Saturday at the multi-purpose facility and shake off the rust. We will play on Tuesday against North Lamar at 6 p.m.”

The icy roads have also put the maintenance staff in harm’s way. During the winter storm, the janitors had to go up to the school to check for busted pipes and other damages and fix it themselves.

“When maintenance and operations came up, we had a couple of leaking pipes and some fixtures outside and inside as well, and they fixed those,” assistant principal Richard Stahl said. “They were up here working on Saturday. Most of the crew was doing that and some custodial staff came in to help clean up everything.”

The maintenance staff also took precautions to keep the school safe. 

“We didn’t have our electricity go out, which is rare, but it was a good thing,” Stahl said. “ We heated the building during the time off to keep it warm so the pipes wouldn’t freeze as much, but on some of the extreme areas on the campus, those pipes got a little frozen and they had to be repaired. Everything’s working really well now and we actually came out of this really well.”

Although teachers were struggling, student athletes were stressing, and the staff overworked themselves, the school had it under control. They found ways to counteract the weather-caused isolation. 

“Our teachers do an excellent job of evaluating what was to be covered on the days lost, and finding ways to get it all covered in the long run,” principal Carla Dupree said. “Some PLCs have been planning together virtually this week, and the other PLCs will be meeting to strategize the best way to handle the adaptations when we return to school.”