West Virginia

‘Go Build a Snowman': School District Declares Snow Day to Help Families at Tough Time

"I'm bawling like a baby and I don't know why," said one reader of a heartfelt note from a school superintendent

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As a difficult year draws to a close, a West Virginia school district told families that school is canceled and they should just go enjoy the snow. 

Jefferson County Schools declared a snow day Wednesday with a heartfelt note Tuesday from Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson, who told parents to "take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year."

"We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow…go build a snowman," she wrote.

Some people who read the letter had an emotional reaction. 

A winter storm warning is in effect for portions of eastern and panhandle West Virginia. Heavy mixed precipitation is expected, the National Weather Service says. Here’s Storm Team4’s full forecast for the wintery day

Storm Team4 Meteorologist Chuck Bell has your morning forecast for Dec. 16, 2020.

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Here’s Jefferson County Schools’ full letter to families: 

WED, DEC. 16 INCLEMENT WEATHER

Dec. 15, 2020

Dear Jefferson County Schools Community,

For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy.  It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds.  A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be.  An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold on to for life.  

For all of these reasons and many more, Jefferson County Schools will be completely closed for tomorrow, Dec. 16, in honor of the 1st snow day of the year.  Closed for students… closed for virtual… closed for staff.  It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss.  For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year. 

So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires.   Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year and read books that you have wanted to lose yourself in, but haven’t had the time.  We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow…go build a snowman. 

Sincerely,

Bondy Shay Gibson, Ed.D.

Superintendent 

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