Y2K giving some students an extra long holiday breakgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Among the districts with delayed openings: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Portland, Ore., Spokane, Wash., and Washington, D.C. Some, including Dayton, Ohio, and Albuquerque, are waiting a full week. More typical are districts taking one or two extra days to make sure all systems are in order.
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11/29/99- Updated 09:20 AM ET
Y2K giving students extra holiday break
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
Computers may not break down when the calendar turns to 2000, but millions of the nation's students will get a break anyway: No school.
An estimated 5%-10% of the nation's school districts will return from winter vacation later than usual in January. The delays, usually a day or two, but in some cases a week, are prompted by officials' fears that the Year 2000 computer glitch may wreak havoc with everything from staff payrolls and student records to buses, heat and lights.
Most of the decisions to extend winter break were made last spring, when computer breakdowns seemed more likely than they do today. But more than one-third of the nation's school districts still are not fully prepared for Y2K, according to a recent U.S. Department of Education survey.
"In every region of the country, I've heard school districts say, 'We're delaying the start of our school year,' " says Dave Dexter, deputy director of the education department's Y2K Project Team.
Most of the nation's school districts will reopen on Monday, Jan. 3. The weekend will be spent testing for Y2K problems that could occur if computers read "00" as 1900, rather than 2000, and malfunction.
Among the districts with delayed openings: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Portland, Ore., Spokane, Wash., and Washington, D.C. Some, including Dayton, Ohio, and Albuquerque, are waiting a full week. More typical are districts taking one or two extra days to make sure all systems are in order. In all cases, the missed school days are being made up during other parts of the school year.
"We certainly don't anticipate any problems, but we want to be in a position to correct anything that might go wrong," says Jill Moberley, spokeswoman for the Dayton schools.
Albuquerque school officials believe they are prepared for Y2K. But they're not as sure about companies they rely on for heat, security and transportation. As the biggest school system in New Mexico, with 88,000 students, Albuquerque inspired more than half the districts in the state to implement similar delays.
Some districts considered a Y2K delay but decided to bring students back on time. Chicago school officials reasoned that if teachers and students are going to face difficulties, it won't matter what day they return. "All we would do is postpone the day we find out we have a problem," says Rich Koeller, spokesman for Chicago schools.
-- Linkmeister (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 29, 1999.
Our local upstate NY school system is still planning on going back on the 3rd. We get hit by a lot of ice storms that make the mountains impassable, so if any days are missed we've budgeted to take them out of our snow days, then use up spring break, then -- who knows? Superintendent of Schools says he hasn't gotten any word from further up the chain as far as contingency policies if we miss more than a couple of weeks. Thus whether we could have to still be making up days missed in July heat is unknown.
Our local schools seem to be pretty compliant, though if the grid takes a direct hit we could run into big troubles. Money for generators is out of the question, and even adding antifreeze to the heating pipes would run $50,000. They are planning to fire up the boilers and heat the school to the max on New Year's Eve, and hope that the residual heat stored can keep the pipes warm enough to buy them a few days' time.
If you want to pester your school board with questions about compliancy, I have a t emplate for a Y2k compliancy letter that I wrote to our school board that you can adapt to your own area. Might want to follow it up with a phone call though, I doubt you'll get a written answer at this point.
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