Thursday, September 4, 2008

Early heat dismissal

All teachers and staff received this email today from central office, today at 11:43:

Schools are closing half day today for students due to excessive heat and humidity (exact time varies by school according to the bell schedule). Transportation, food services, and the media have already been notified. Staff are expected to work the full day.

However,, the website we were clicking over and over again to check on rumors of closing, had reported said decision much sooner than that, at around 11:10am. And they had reported that schools were closing at noon.

Of course, the rumors spread through the building like wildfire. My class of 9th graders meets from 11:35-12:25, and the plan today was the drill, a discussion of Friday's quiz, and then to take a writing benchmark for the last 35-40 minutes of class. I knew I had to bench the benchmark. Then, rumors were swirling about the early departure, so I confirmed it and gave the students 60 seconds to phone home for a ride. Then, I did my miniature 20-minute lesson, and waited for the dismissal.

No one really knew what was going on, and I looked down the hall, and all the teachers were standing by their doors, just sort of waiting. The hall monitors didn't know. The department head didn't know. Later, we learned (after we checked the email, which was much after we had seen the report on the WBALTV website) that the schools were on a staggered release schedule, and ours was one of the last. We were dismissed at 12:25, and not before my 8/9th period class had reported from lunch, meaning there were about 60 kids (two classes) in my room. They had cleared the cafeteria because they didn't want to dismiss from there, and made them go to their next period's class, even though there were still classes in there. Weird stuff.

It was a chaotic twenty minutes, but I enjoyed just talking with the kids around the room. I made them get out their flash cards to study after I realized the noon dismissal wouldn't happen, but the kids were kind of gone by then.

I'm very thankful for the dismissal. I was already starting to feel pretty horrible again. I'm pretty sure I have a heat rash on my forehead from constantly wiping myself with a sweat towel, and yesterday's lightheadedness downright scared me. I didn't mind having to stay; we actually did our monthly faculty meeting in the time slot in the afternoon, and we did it in the air-conditioned auditorium. Pleasant all around.

I guess the heat is going down tomorrow. Thank goodness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is never a good idea to wait for an email from North Avenue to tell you about something, I have always found out about schools closing, early dismissals from WBAL tv. I called my childs school to double check at about 11:30 and it was official--school would be dismissing at 12 noon. Still nothing on my email though. What a surprise. if you want to know whats going on find out from those who know and not wait for North Avenue to tell you.