2 Hour Delay

The 2 hour delay actually ruins your day

Try to imagine you are peacefully asleep in the softest bed you could ever think of. You are curled up under fuzzy, warm covers, snoring lightly, maybe dreaming about a beach house in the Bahamas. Now, imagine the brain-piercing ringing that comes from your phone alarm, snapping you out of your beautiful sleepy trance. You start to get excited; everyone is flooding the class group chats, your mom has texted you twice, and you have a Facebook notification from the school district account. Your heart starts to race: Could it be? Could you possibly be so lucky to have a snow day today? Nope! And the alternative is much worse. A two hour delay.
The worst part about a two hour delay is that the sleep cycle has already been disturbed and there is no way to fall back asleep, unless one wants to feel even groggier than they already do. The two hour window simply isn’t long enough to get back in bed and fall back asleep. The true curse of the two hour delay is that it is always announced in the morning, right before many students are getting ready to go to school. There is no way to simply enjoy the extra sleep unless you frequently sleep through school anyway.
Another problem posed by the two hour delay is the effect it has on our grades. We are already thrown off of the natural rhythm of our routine, paired with the impact of our unusual sleep pattern. Worse than that, however, is the fact that all of our classes are drastically shortened, and teachers understandably do not want to obstruct learning by changing around class plans. Many tests or quizzes increase in difficulty on two hour delay days because we are sluggish, cold, and our class time is sliced in half.
Along with the academic and emotional impact, another factor to consider is the safety of students. Students in the Westby district may have their main roads plowed and salted by the time school starts, but there is no guarantee that the children who live in rural areas will have their back roads and driveways cleared out within 2 hours notice. Especially those who come from less privileged homes, where the cost to plow a driveway may simply be too expensive. This leaves children with the choice of possibly walking through dangerous, frost bitten winter conditions to get to the bus, or having an unexcused absence due to their living situation.
Of course, many would argue that two hours of no responsibility is still a convenient blessing for most children. It gives students time to eat breakfast, shower, or even do some missing assignments. This poses a real question, however: Do students actually fill their time with productive activities? Or do the extra two hours simply tease a snow day that could have been, and throw off the circadian rhythm of both students and teachers?
I believe that snow days are by far the most effective solution to bad weather and dangerous roads. There is plenty of time for families to find solutions to previously stated issues, such as driving conditions or academic hindrances. Two hour delays do nothing for students except give them false hope for a later cancellation, and throw off the balanced routine that our schools curate for us.