An Angry Snow Day Letter To GFPS School Board


Today E-City Beat received the following letter written to the Great Falls Public Schools Board of Trustees. We are respecting the letter writer’s request to remain anonymous.

Windchill chart.

“To whom it may concern,

I have just called my son out of classes for today due to dangerously low temperatures. This is something I should not have to do. You, as the school board should have done so for the whole district. Many children are forced to walk through uncontrolled intersections and dangerous weather conditions to get to school simply because our school board and city doesn’t seem to care about protecting our kids in inclement weather.

I am begging you to reconsider your stance on snow days and let them happen. Also, when you consider the current temps outside and the fact that the main campus of GFH (where all of my sons classes are) has an inadequate heating system because you chose to ignore the fact that it needs YEARLY maintenance.

This is creating inadequate learning environments for the kids. Especially those with documented learning and physical disabilities. You can’t learn when you’re cold. GFPS should be ashamed of themselves for allowing our children to be in an unsafe learning environment.

——(Editor’s Note: Combine the inadequate heating system with the documented high levels of CO2, a condition that has been proven to diminish cognitive function, and existed at Great Falls High for over 50 years, it should come as no surprise that a safe and healthy learning environment has not been provided for students and staff.)——

To add insult to injury, lets also address the fact that NONE of the schools are locked during school hours. Get camera and buzzer systems installed because anyone can just walk into a school and cause problems. All they have to do is look like they know where they are going. Last year, at East, I had a meeting, and I stood in the hall outside the classroom for 10 minutes before anyone even noticed that someone was out of place. Class was still going, so the halls were pretty much empty except for myself. That scares me. Did you not see what happened at Sandyhook? School doors should be secured during school hours for the safety of our kids.

I would also like to ask why you thought that the very end of April was the best time for spring break? Did you know that 90% of schools DO NOT do Easter Break because the timing of that changes every year. They all go on break at the end of March. For a full week. (Btw, thanks for letting them have a week for once… Let’s try and get winter break up to 2 weeks like the rest of the nation.) I can send you some sample calendars from around the US so you can see for yourself.

Thanks for your time.”



Reader interactions

4 Replies to “An Angry Snow Day Letter To GFPS School Board”

  1. I have worked in rural schools as well as dealing with teachers who teach in smaller schools. GFPS are the only ones I’ve seen being unlocked.
    Think about our kids!


  2. I have it on very good authority that a homeless man actually wandered into East Middle earlier this school year because the doors just remain open and unlocked all day. When asked to leave he said he needed a place to use the bathroom. You kind of have to laugh because it’s so horrifying.


  3. A buzz in system for all schools seems to be just good sense, even before Sandyhook which I believe had such a system that didn’t help.

    As for taking snow days because of single digit sub-zero temperatures or moderate snowfall, buy your kid a warm coat and/or drive them to school. It’s a parents job to get their child prepared to live in Montana. This letter points out small problems compared to the Drop Out Czar that the board just promoted to rule all grade levels with the same expected efficacy. Our kids and teaching staff deserve better.


  4. I agree 100%! I was a substitute at East about a year ago. I was horrified as well by the LACK of security. I walked in without being noticed, tried to find the check-in desk; couldn’t find the sign-in book , and I wandered around for awhile without being asked who I was. The lunchroom was chaotic as well as the hallways.

    A person could have easily walked in with discontent and violence on their mind. In my heart I was actually very scared for the students, teachers, and myself. Great Falls School District.. what are you doing about security in the district? That should be NUMBER 1 priority???? OUR children’s safety!!

    P.S. And you wonder why GFPS have a hard time finding substitutes….they put their lives at risk for little compensation.


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