A’Keisha Burke got to start her day Jan. 31 teaching daughter Amani, 7, how to make waffles and hot chocolate. She built a fire, pulled out the art supplies and got ready for some mother-daughter time.

But in the back of her mind, she was thinking about her students at the Leadership Academy at Como Elementary School.

Fort Worth ISD and other districts canceled school Jan. 31 because of ice and snow in Fort Worth that is expected to remain through Wednesday. Fort Worth ISD will remain closed Feb. 1.

While everyone loves a snow day, Burke said a day off means instruction time lost when it’s almost time for districtwide testing and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.

According to the Texas Education Agency, districts have days set aside that they can take off school for bad weather. Schools  can later make those days up to ensure they meet state attendance requirements. 

However, Burke said, those makeup days typically happen later in the spring, after testing.

“So, it’s a good thing and it’s also not a good thing because as teachers, we have to make sure that our students get that education component that we missed out on those days to make sure they’re prepared for their test,” she said. “But, on the other end, it’s always good because the teachers can rest. The students can spend time with their families. Teachers can also spend time with their families.”

When students return to school, some teachers will use the snow as a chance for a lesson, Burke said. They’ll teach the children about why they heard thunder, but saw snow. Teachers will ask students to describe it and discuss their experience, she said.

But, for now, Burke will enjoy the day with her daughter reading books, completing art projects, playing board games and cooking together.

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at kristen.barton@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. 

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Kristen BartonEducation Reporter

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She has previous experience in education reporting for her hometown paper, the Longview News-Journal and her college paper, The Daily...