DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There was no “snow day” for tens of thousands of students across North Texas on Thursday, Feb. 11.
Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs, the largest school districts in the area, both pivoted to 100% online learning.
“I think in the past it was a lot harder to make a decision about bad weather,” says Dallas ISD Deputy Supt. Susana Cordova, “we never like being a position where we can’t serve kids and we always want to keep kids safe. And now, you know, fortunately we can do both.”
In Dallas, the millions invested in getting students connected during the pandemic, also paying off when icy roads would have otherwise closed schools.
“Our students have already lost so much time that we felt like most important thing we could do was to keep learning going,” says Cordova, Deputy Supt. of Leading and Learning in the district.
Staffers say it was important to communicate with parents early and to provide support for those who had previously opted for in-person learning.
“We had extra folks manning our help desk today from our IT department and so we put that number out to all families, so that if they had any problems logging on, make a call and we made sure that everybody in our IT department could help out with the help desk, and so that’s been going well,” says Cordova.
Across North Texas, the school district response was a mixed bag, from business as usual in Frisco, to full closures in Arlington, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, and Plano.
Cedar Hill has already announced that they will remain closed on
Friday and Monday, already on the district calendar as a potential bad weather make-up day.
Meanwhile, Dallas ISD leaders expressed relief that students and staffers were able to remain safe, while also continuing to access instruction.
So with technology now in hand will the “snow day” become a thing of the past?
“It might just do that!” agrees Cordova with a good-natured laugh. “I think the good news is we build inclement weather days into the calendar, so we can have a day off later on in the year, just not today.”
DISD will continue with virtual learning on Friday, Feb. 12.