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  1. #1

    Default Snow Days Way Back When?

    I see a lot of discussion on other sites and in the news about schools being closed for snow. Made me start thinking back and I can't remember. Did Detroit schools routinely close for snow back in the 60s? This was before widespread bussing and remember walking to school in snow.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meddle View Post
    I see a lot of discussion on other sites and in the news about schools being closed for snow. Made me start thinking back and I can't remember. Did Detroit schools routinely close for snow back in the 60s? This was before widespread bussing and remember walking to school in snow.
    I attended DPS from 1954-1966 schools never closed because of snow. Never even heard of a snow day. Probably because back then there were no yellow school buses trying to drive through residential streets. I walked to the elementary school in my the neighborhood. Was bussed to Jr. High on city bus. Took city bus or walked to high school.

  3. #3

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    I lived in Detroit and attended school from 1961-1973; I remember one snow day when I was in Catholic elementary school in 1965 when we had 11" of snow.
    After I moved to Almont in 73 there were upwards of 6 snow days a year. My husband taught school there and he loved it. We would have 6' drifts and the snow would be piled so high on the side streets that it would form wind tunnels

  4. #4

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    I recall one snow day pre-'61 in Detroit, snow piled up good and many teachers could not make the drive. The local Catholic elementary school was closed.

  5. #5

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    I graduated high school in 1969, and I only ever had one snow day, in 10th or 11th grade. The worst part is that the school bus had already dropped us at school, then they canceled. I had to walk 2 miles home in about 10" of snow. Not fun.

  6. #6

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    1944-1954 there were no DPS snow days. The big kids would break a path through the snow and the little kids would follow in their tracks. After we moved to Rochester (1954-1957) we would have one or two days a year because of using the yellow (and older red-white-blue) school buses and all the hills and narrow dirt roads with deep ditches.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Former_Detroiter View Post
    I attended DPS from 1954-1966 schools never closed because of snow. Never even heard of a snow day. Probably because back then there were no yellow school buses trying to drive through residential streets. I walked to the elementary school in my the neighborhood. Was bussed to Jr. High on city bus. Took city bus or walked to high school.
    Same here, only 1953-1965. I recall only one time that Cass let us out early when the snow was quickly piling up to 18-20" or so. I expect that's because almost everyone used the DSR to/from school.

  8. #8

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    I only remember 2 from my DPS days, when I was a little kid in 1965, and when I was in high school just after Easter vacation in what I want to say was 1975 (my family got stuck in Toledo on the way back from a friend's place in southern Indiana). There were also 2 snow days for a 2 foot snowfall when I was at MSU in Jan. 1978, which was only the university's second or third snow days ever. The cafeterias were running out of food on the second day.
    Last edited by EastsideAl; February-23-17 at 12:57 PM.

  9. #9

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    That's what I thought. I can remember getting driven to school a few days, but I walked most of them and I remember the paths and drifts.

    Now, they close schools when flurries are forecast.

  10. #10

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    Someone made a map of the US showing how many inches of snow it typically takes to trigger school closings, by county:

    http://sashat.me/2014/01/29/snow-days/

    He explains where he got his data from here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/com...cancel_school/

    We sure have gotten soft. LOL the areas where they close schools if there is ANY snow.

  11. #11

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    One word: litigation.

    We not only have snow days, but cold days. If the wind chill is too low, we cancel because kids are at risk waiting at the bus stop. More particularly, districts are at risk of being sued by parents not properly taking care of their children. Such is the world today.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BankruptcyGuy View Post
    One word: litigation.

    We not only have snow days, but cold days. If the wind chill is too low, we cancel because kids are at risk waiting at the bus stop. More particularly, districts are at risk of being sued by parents not properly taking care of their children. Such is the world today.
    Why would school be cancelled when the wind chill is too low?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Former_Detroiter View Post
    Why would school be cancelled when the wind chill is too low?
    Because a lot of kids rely on city buses to get them to and from school and that means they have to stand outside waiting for a bus in below freezing temps. It also means kids walking long distances to school would be out in dangerous temps and, kids being kids, may not be wearing hats, gloves, etc and could get frostbite, etc. It's different than it was back in the 70's, 80's, etc in that a lot of kids don't go to a neighborhood school that is very close to home. Someone above said it's a liability issue and it is; parents could sue for kids being required to stand outside in dangerous weather

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcole View Post
    Because a lot of kids rely on city buses to get them to and from school and that means they have to stand outside waiting for a bus in below freezing temps. It also means kids walking long distances to school would be out in dangerous temps and, kids being kids, may not be wearing hats, gloves, etc and could get frostbite, etc. It's different than it was back in the 70's, 80's, etc in that a lot of kids don't go to a neighborhood school that is very close to home. Someone above said it's a liability issue and it is; parents could sue for kids being required to stand outside in dangerous weather
    How odd. I remember standing out for 20 mins. or so, in below zero temps, in the wind, in the predawn dark, waiting for the Vernor bus to take me downtown on my way to Cass Tech. No one thought anything of it, and there was no expectation at all that schools would close or make any special accommodation for such weather. After all, my grandfather got up even earlier, and went out in the even colder and darker weather to get himself to Chrysler to work. We all survived just fine.

    This is Michigan after all; it gets cold (except for this winter it seems), and dealing with it in the course of your daily life was just a fact of life of living here. If I was too cold, then it was my own damn fault for not wearing enough clothes, and that's exactly what my mother would have said if I whined about it.
    Last edited by EastsideAl; February-24-17 at 12:53 PM.

  15. #15

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    I walked from Greenfield and Fenkell to Stratford Elementary and Cerveny Jr. High, then to St. Mary Of Redford High.

    I'd have loved to ride on a nice warm bus even if it meant standing in the cold for a few minutes. Would have beat the tar out of walking all that way every day in the cold.

  16. #16

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    Walked to Elementary School, Jr. High School and High School from 1950 thru 1963. Up hill both ways (lol). Never had a snow day. I remember walking through snow that went over my knee high boots.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    How odd. I remember standing out for 20 mins. or so, in below zero temps, in the wind, in the predawn dark, waiting for the Vernor bus to take me downtown on my way to Cass Tech. No one thought anything of it, and there was no expectation at all that schools would close or make any special accommodation for such weather. After all, my grandfather got up even earlier, and went out in the even colder and darker weather to get himself to Chrysler to work. We all survived just fine.

    This is Michigan after all; it gets cold (except for this winter it seems), and dealing with it in the course of your daily life was just a fact of life of living here. If I was too cold, then it was my own damn fault for not wearing enough clothes, and that's exactly what my mother would have said if I whined about it.
    For one of the few times, I pretty much agree with you; it's over kill but as someone else said it's a litigious society and people won't hesitate to sue if their kid gets hurt or sick or whatever. They'll do their best to pin it on the school district and if they can't get money from them, they'll go after the state.

  18. #18

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    [QUOTE=jcole;521742]Because a lot of kids rely on city buses to get them to and from school and that means they have to stand outside waiting for a bus in below freezing temps. It also means kids walking long distances to school would be out in dangerous temps and, kids being kids, may not be wearing hats, gloves, etc and could get frostbite, etc. It's different than it was back in the 70's, 80's, etc in that a lot of kids don't go to a neighborhood school that is very close to home. Someone above said it's a liability issue and it is; parents could sue for kids being required to stand outside in dangerous weather.

    I see you meant winds causing the temperature to drop. Who would the parents sue?

  19. #19

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    1955-1968. One day.....Feb of '65 I believe. Given I had to help dig out my dad so he could be one of the 1% to get to work....the day off wasn't as attractive as it could've been.

  20. #20

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    We lived near Hubbell and Grand River while I went to school from 1958 until 1971 at St Marys of Redford. Neither I, nor the neighborhood kids who went to Burns, Cadillac and Cooley ever heard of such a thing as a snow day.

  21. #21

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    I was a kid of the late 60's - 70's and I recall snow up a quarter of the front storm door that had to be forced open; trudging to elementary and jr. high school, hot chocolate waiting. Shaking snow out of the boots and school went on. But schools were closer, people were not doing 'hit and runs', less running of lights, traffic less in general and less need for litigation etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by cla1945 View Post
    Walked to Elementary School, Jr. High School and High School from 1950 thru 1963. Up hill both ways (lol). Never had a snow day. I remember walking through snow that went over my knee high boots.

  22. #22

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    I attended U of M from 1971 to 1975. On Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend of 1974 SE Michigan was hit with a major league blizzard. I took 3 of us 4 hours to drive from GP to Ann Arbor and we only had a 12 pack of beer for the ride (SOP in those days). When we finally got back to Ann Arbor it was deserted. The next day U of M cancelled classes for the 1st time in the history of the school. Too few people, including professors, had made it back in time for Monday classes.

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GPCharles View Post
    I attended U of M from 1971 to 1975. On Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend of 1974 SE Michigan was hit with a major league blizzard. I took 3 of us 4 hours to drive from GP to Ann Arbor and we only had a 12 pack of beer for the ride (SOP in those days). When we finally got back to Ann Arbor it was deserted. The next day U of M cancelled classes for the 1st time in the history of the school. Too few people, including professors, had made it back in time for Monday classes.
    I remember that very well because a fellow law school student sued the U-M for the cost of tuition for one day and he won.

  24. #24

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    mikefmich......that date seems about right. It was the only snow day I can think of while I was in the Ferndale Public Schools from 1954 through 1966. I am in turn absolutely astounded to see what a couple of inches of snow does to the Puget Sound region's schools.

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