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Snow break over, schools resume class
Mallory Johnson and her fellow kindergartners in Chelsea Buchanan's class at Mashburn Elementary have returned to school after a week off due to winter weather. - photo by Autumn McBride


Gary Davison is using the "out of sight, out of mind" theory to explain how Forsyth County students snapped back into form Tuesday after an unexpected week off from school.

“It felt a little strange coming back after such a big break at the beginning,” said Davison, principal at Lambert High School. "But after a few minutes, it fell into our normal routine very quickly.

“It helped that you don’t see a lot of snow out there anymore. It was almost like a faint memory.”

Maybe so, but the snow and ice disrupted the school calendar and life in general last week won't soon be forgotten.

Students were out all five days last week due to the weather. That was followed by the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

When school resumed Tuesday it was just the fifth day students had attended class in 2011. Winter break stretched from Dec. 20 to Jan. 4.

Still, the “snow rust” was short lived, Davison said.

“Everyone pretty much just picked themselves up by their boot straps and said we have a little more to do and a little less time,” he said. “Everyone is using it as a rallying cry together.”

Even Tuesday’s bus routes went smoothly, said Garry Puetz, the system's transportation director.

“Everything went as expected and we stayed on schedule, allowing us to deliver students safely and on time to school,” he said.

“There were still isolated areas where snow and ice required a little bit of extra caution, but our drivers were made aware of these conditions well in advance ... so they knew to proceed with extra caution.”

Chelsea Buchanan’s kindergarten class at Mashburn Elementary School didn’t forget about their week off.

They were all excited to share their stories Tuesday morning, which Buchanan said they “turned ... into something educational.”

“They’ve written about their experiences with the ice and we’ve talked about the weather and tried to incorporate math into it,” she said. “They’ve just been really excited just to come back because they miss it when they’re out of school.”

It was also helpful to be able to spend the King holiday getting a head start on the week, Buchanan said.

“It definitely made it easier to come back a day before the children and to catch up and rework our plan so that we could make up for that week,” she said. “We had team meetings and we also collaborated with the other people in our building.”

There are a few other kinks still to work out, Davison said. Coaches are having to reschedule missed games and academic events, though “those are all working out pretty nicely.”

Buchanan said it may take the full week to review coursework completed before the break. By Monday, though, things likely will be back to normal.

“We are also just coming back from Christmas,” she said. “We had only been back for four days when it happened. If it was later in the year, maybe closer to ... testing, it would have affected us a little bit more.

"But I think the kids are so quick to come in and start learning again, that it really didn’t affect us much.”