Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
We have taken the grand kids to a place where they can swim and we can use the hot tub and sauna and that is where I have returned. What a difference. The pictures tell the story. Now my feet will only be wet from warm water, not from snow in my boots. That is if I wear boots in the hotel parking lot that is ankle deep in slush and ice.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
As I look outside now, it appears like the snow is here. At least it is in my little section of Ravensdale. Just in time to make tomorrow and Friday another opportunity to second guess the weather and practice our analysis and synthesis skills as we evaluate the conditions and make a decision. I'm still waiting for the no-brainer decision, but don't expect that it will show this week. Lori, Susie, Bonnie, and Bridget are putting in long, stressful hours checking roads, answering my questions, and fielding calls from upset parents this week. They deserve a big thanks and appreciation for their commitment in difficult and anxious situations. Though the call in hindsight can certainly be questioned, we made it based upon the best information available at the time.
On another topic, we are anxiously awaiting the Governor's budget. It is the first budget to be submitted and we expect it to be out tomorrow. It will give us an indication of how difficult it will be to develop a balanced budget as I don't think a democratically controlled house and senate will make major shifts in the education portions of their budgets that come out after the session begins in January. We will soon be starting a budget development section on our web site to share information as we go through this process. We know there is a need for staff to have accurate and timely information as these difficult decisions are made. The addition to the web is one vehicle for dissemination of this information.
Finally, I'm pleased to say that we have spent considerable time discussing the comments to my post on our curriculum. On the January 5th waiver day we will be sharing with all High School and Junior High staff information on our curriculum development work and Classroom 10. Nancy will be with Terry and teacher leaders at the High School and I will be with Rob at the Junior High. I am looking forward to this opportunity for sharing information, identifying additional needs, and answering questions that resulted from your comments.
Monday, December 15, 2008
We closed for today because there were too many emergency routes that were not safe for our buses and because of the potential for kids to be waiting in poor conditions for extended periods at bus stops. King County public works staff shared with us today that they believe that we made the correct choice. Though the main roads are free of ice, the side roads in many areas are not and they have not been sanded or salted enough to make a difference. This includes one of the main roads to the high school, the junior high, Lake Webster area, the Maple Valley Heights area, and . . .
So, what is different for tomorrow and why with little change in the weather are we thinking about holding classes? First, the weather today did result in evaporation of some of the moisture that results in ice. We also today shared with Jeff from public works our emergency routes and where we were seeing the major problems. He is great, always listening and asking where they can help. He believes that late this evening and with the midnight shift they will be able to sand all of those areas. They wanted to wait until it was colder to ensure the sand would be over the ice. We were also able to spend additional time on the parking areas to make them safe.
The people who drive the district will be out early in the morning to provide us with guidance as we make this difficult decision. Some of us will spend a restless evening wondering and worrying what this guidance will result in around 5:00 am tomorrow.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
- How bad is the road to the high school since we know kids will still drive?
- Are the parking lots safe?
- If we believe the weather won't change between now and the morning when should we make the call?
- What are the conditions in the surrounding communities since those will impact staff travel?
- Are all emergency route stops on the main roads?
- How many people can we get out on the roads now in the areas we know are the hardest areas to call?
- If we go, should we go two hours late so it will be light and less traffic even though it probably won't change road conditions appreciably?
- And, . . .
It will be another of those restless nights until we make a decision then a different stress after the decision as many second guess what we decided. These are obviously very difficult decisions to make that are made more difficult because of the diversity of our community as it relates to elevation and impact of the foothills on snowfall and temperatures. None of us individually has the context to make the decision. As with most things, it takes a collaborative effort to make the best decision.
One of these times if we have to alter the schedule it would be nice for it to be an obvious call. You know, one of those no brainers because of the number of inches on the ground. I wonder even then if all would agree?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
What I have learned this year is that the demeanor of the crowd seems to change with the record. With the success of the last few years I didn't notice some of the behavior we are now experiencing. There has always been the drinking and I have annually had beer spilled on me at least one time partly because I have an aisle seat. It is the language and surliness that is increasing. The "F" word seems to flow like water from the mouths of those behind us and to one side. Fans of the other team have always been subjected to some good natured ribbing as they walk by that has now turned into yelling and profanity. It is a different environment now that we are losing.
We have one more home game this season with the Jets. I am looking forward to seeing Favre quarterback for a different team, but I am not looking forward to the changes in behavior that we have experienced these last few games. Winning next year will be welcomed for more than just the record. Can they make the changes next year that are necessary to again become winners?