EDMOND, Okla. — Every school district in central Oklahoma canceled class on Thursday because of inclement weather but only one had a unique message for parents.
Districts alerted parents through district websites, Twitter, Facebook, NewsChannel 4 and district-wide phone alert systems.
Deer Creek Schools canceled classes for the day around 6 a.m.
However, parents in the Deer Creek district were treated to a musical surprise when they received the School Reach System’s voice mail.
Andrew Harris and his wife saw the snow on the ground and knew a message from the school was coming.
He says it started out with the usual message saying, “Due to inclement weather, classes are canceled.”
Harris says, “And then there was a pause. And then she said, ‘The pressure to make this message fun is high. So, in honor of my first-grade son and his favorite movie, ‘Frozen,’ I have a little something special; A snow serenade first thing in the morning.”
The vocalist is Lenis DeRieux, Deer Creek’s director of human resources and communication.
“I’m not a professional singer,” says DeRieux. “I sing in the car and that’s about it.”
She says if the snow keeps coming, so will the snow days and that can be a burden on parents.
Harris said, “We have to go get them outside to burn off some of this energy.”
Harris is telling his kids to enjoy the snow day now because they’ll be paying for it later.
Many metro districts are close to their “snow day limit.”
In fact, some have used all of the days they had built into the school year.
Now, those districts are talking about make up days.
“They’re difficult on a school district and they’re difficult on parents as well,” says DeRieux. “It’s a hard call to make.”
Harris says, “Now, it’s starting to get to the point where it’s encroaching on summertime.”
Putnam City, Oklahoma City and Deer Creek are all out of built in snow days.
Each district will consult their board of education to create a plan on making up the extra days they’ve used.
Midwest City Schools still has three days remaining for elementary schools and five days remaining for middle and high school students.
Norman Schools is getting close to its four-day snow day limit.
Officials say they will add minutes to the beginning or end of future school days to make up for any time lost.
Edmond Schools has already built in extra minutes in their school days.
By the end of the school year, they will have accrued nine days to use for snow days.
So far, they’ve only used four.
The same goes for Moore Public Schools.
With extra minutes already built into their school days, they will have accrued seven days to use for snow days.