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Parent Opposes School Delays Due to Cold; SVSD Supt. Responds

Saucon parent Randy Yardumian says the district's delays and closure of school due to cold weather represent 'kowtowing to a dumbed-down society' and will set kids up for failure. School district superintendent Dr. Sandra Fellin has a different take.

Editor's Note: The following letter to the Saucon Valley School Board was shared with Patch by its author. A response from school district superintendent Dr. Sandra Fellin follows. Discussion about this year's frequent school delays—including one on Tuesday—and closures due to cold weather was sparked by a Patch blog post by Tina Olson-Wilkins. Many readers also have shared their thoughts about the subject on Hellertown-Lower Saucon Patch's Facebook page.

Dear President Karabin and other members of the SV School Board:

I would like to place on the record my dissatisfaction and disapproval of allowing delays and or cancellations of school merely for cold weather. It should be noted that I am not disagreeing with delays or closures due to snow or ice when taking into account road conditions, however I believe that this recent practice of allowing delays or closures due to cold weather is wholly unnecessary and completely unacceptable. This is "The Winter." It will occasionally get cold. Parents should dress their children appropriately for these inclement weather events. By continuing to delay or close due to cold weather, the SVSD is kowtowing to a dumbed-down society and setting our children up for failure. I myself walked to school from fifth grade until graduation (in a suburban Philadelphia school district with a nearly identical climate.) My father walked to school his entire life in the same school district. My mother walked to school her entire life in Walnutport—a nearly identical climate. All three of us still have all of our toes and fingers intact. 

It has been suggested that school is delayed or cancelled due to the buses not starting or "being warm enough." I have been around heavy diesel engines my entire life—with proper preventive maintenance and proper planning ahead of time, there is no reason why the school buses cannot be started, warmed up and rolled out of the gate on time. I suggest that if there are issues with buses not starting, then perhaps the Administration should take this matter up with the head of fleet maintenance. If the buses are not "warm enough," again I suggest that if parents have little Sally or Junior dressed appropriately, then they will survive the trip inside of the bus which is out of the wind, rain or snow.

If parents are that concerned about their children walking to school or waiting at the bus stop, then I suggest that they drive them to school or wait with them at the bus stop. But to continue the practice of delays or closings because it is too cold will only warrant demands in the future from our dumbed-down society for further weather delays or closings; perhaps in the event of heavy rains or extreme heat. At this point, snow make up days could extend school until the 4th of July and therefore extreme heat days could very well become a reality.

Respectfully submitted,

Randy Yardumian

Hellertown

________________________________

Dear Mr. Randy Yardumian,

This winter has been a challenge so far and we have February to go. Making weather calls and decisions is not an easy task and is not taken lightly. Much thought and debate and analysis of facts goes into every decision.

I am sorry you disagree with the decisions that have been made. When cold gets into double digits below zero, there is reason for pause and concern for many reasons.

I know not everyone agrees with any call that is made for a delay or closing. These decisions never make all happy.

The district has used five snow/emergency days this year. The district builds four days into the calendar, so the one additional day at this point in time will be added to the end of the year.

Thank you for your thoughts on the matter.

Dr. Sandra Fellin

Superintendent, Saucon Valley School District
Gary Gorman January 30, 2014 at 02:30 PM
If we ain't got love, then what are we doing it for
MaryAnn Wisser January 30, 2014 at 02:40 PM
Cathy, I am agreeing with you.
Gary Gorman January 30, 2014 at 02:46 PM
MaryAnn: the best advice my therapist ever gave me: shut up!
SV Parent January 30, 2014 at 02:58 PM
@andrew wilt -- you got it exactly right. She was hardly ever an educator, got into admin as fast as she could. The teachers are the educators,everyone else should be taking care of the other business efficiently and effectively so the teachers can get their teaching done.
Jennifer Palmieri January 30, 2014 at 03:29 PM
I've come to one conclusion...it's the same people who complain about anything and everything. If they had school they'd complain about that too. You people need to get a hobby, get a life, or just keep your mouths shut. Appreciate a good thing when it's done. Great job Saucon! You did what you felt was best for the students, not necessarily the public...and no it won't ruin our children's lives or their education!
Gary Gorman January 30, 2014 at 07:09 PM
Bring it!
Vita January 30, 2014 at 07:36 PM
This was a terrible non-answered response to this parent. Saying there are many reasons for concern, and not citing one, is not responding to him at all. There is not a valid reason to cancel school for cold weather. It doesn't apply when you work for a living, it's teaching kids a bad precedent. Teach them to deal with life's difficulties. What kind of adults do you want them to become?
Gary Gorman January 30, 2014 at 10:06 PM
sing it sister! I'm doing my job. How bout you?
Gary Gorman January 31, 2014 at 08:33 AM
Dr fellin: I have more interactions to share. School board take notes.
Gary Gorman January 31, 2014 at 09:35 AM
Cathy: let me hope that fellin stares in our same mirror.
Gary Gorman January 31, 2014 at 09:35 AM
Cathy: let me hope that fellin stares in our same mirror.
Paula January 31, 2014 at 03:18 PM
Have the "Dr." Get out and help warm and clear buses , she certainly gets paid enough to actually work. @Stack: " safety of students.." Who are YOU kidding? You pulled your child out of the district for safety reasons
Paula January 31, 2014 at 03:38 PM
(Cont). And thought it a great idea to leave our neighbor kids in arms reach of a convicted sex offender! "Safety of students.." Why don't you go do your "due dillegance ."
Walter February 01, 2014 at 08:34 AM
@Paula - Cackle Cackle Cackle Why don't you and the other hens create a forum for witch hunting Dr. Fellin. And take Gary with you.
Paula February 01, 2014 at 09:00 AM
What's wrong Walter, did I strike a nerve by being brutally honest? So so sorry. Here's another fact: I can't argue with an idiot. That being said , Walter, Have a great weekend .
Daxton February 01, 2014 at 11:38 AM
@paula the only idiot here is yourself for being so childish as to call another individual that. As for your comment regarding Mrs. Stack, I know their family on a personal level and their choice to change where their children got an education had nothing to do with safety. Now you should go make rash generalizations somewhere else...
Paula February 01, 2014 at 12:06 PM
@Daxton, i have one word for you...snake. Ask your friend about it . I personally do not care what your opinion of me is. I am simply telling the truth. Deal with it.
Daxton February 01, 2014 at 12:46 PM
@paula haha.
Paula February 01, 2014 at 01:04 PM
Yes Daxton, This is absolutely hysterical. Wasn't it YOU who called ME childish. You have a nice weekend now.
Daxton February 01, 2014 at 01:56 PM
Indeed it was ME who called YOU childish for making IGNORANT claims against a FAMILY YOU do not PERSONALLY know. If you did know they personally then you would understand why that choice was truly made.
Paula February 01, 2014 at 02:23 PM
I do know Sharon, thank you. Although I remember very vividly our conversations very well , I dont have any recollection of you being a part of them. This takes me back to my initial comment of " student safety " and MsStack
Paula February 01, 2014 at 02:39 PM
And since we have just gone full circle, I believe we are finished here.
Daxton February 01, 2014 at 03:18 PM
@Paula Bullshit you can't give up now...
Michael February 01, 2014 at 08:14 PM
Paula, Did you know that Hellertown is 1.3 sq miles? Did you know that according to Megan's Law website Hellertown has 9 convicted sex offenders? What are the chances of being within 500 feet of one at any given time??? And, that is just the ones that have been caught, convicted, and registered.
Walter February 01, 2014 at 08:25 PM
Aw Geez ... Don't get Mother Hen on her soapbox.
Gary Gorman February 03, 2014 at 07:39 PM
yes dr fellin, today you got it right. today, is a snow day. Sharon stack...pay attention.
Maryanne February 05, 2014 at 03:48 PM
I would like to know when we are going to make up all these snow days and cold weather days????
sarah connor February 07, 2014 at 02:01 PM
Well Maryanne they are going to take days away from the kids, Fellin the follower is going to take away PRESIDENTS DAY! yes so if you decided to take a long weekend with your family or made appointments to visit colleges or just said what the heck lets hit up Disney we can't...or at least there is now a wrench in the plan! So I ask again SINCE WHEN DO WE GO TO SCHOOL ON PRESIDENTS DAY??
SV Parent February 07, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Yet, the kids still have Friday Feb 14 off due to a Teacher in Service day -- Go figure that one out! And, yes, BASD is in school that day ... so much for Fellin's logic of being in sync with BASD for vo-tech students. Note, there is yet another teacher in-service day on March 7 (BASD will be in regular session - tough luck again vo-tech).
Walter February 08, 2014 at 11:04 AM
Can't take away an In Service day for the teachers! The union will not allow that!

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