I remember the long gas lines. I remember getting gas only on days that corresponded with the last number on your license plate (odd/even). I know I am dating myself but having had an environmental outlook and education since I was young, these things tended to be more in my mind than other things that were going on.
Then, came the way for schools in upstate NY to attempt to save money by closing schools. A quick look at historical data showed most districts that the third week in February tended to be the coldest week of the year on average. Remember, I am talking late 70’s.
So came the energy conservation week off. In upstate NY, this meant a week for vacation where it is warm or a week for winter sports. I will admit I say upstate but I really live along the PA border so while not near New York City, I am not truly up in the Adirondacks or where lake effect snow piles up by the foot. The area I am in stopped, sometime before I was back in the area or before my children were in school, having this week off in February. A lot of other districts, even those fairly close to where I know live, continued to have this break. Two years ago, our local area BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) set out a calendar that reinstated the one week off in February. All 15 districts in the Broome-Tioga BOCES area went along with it. Here is where people have gone wrong.
In the 70’s, I do not recall there being sports events and other things going on that required the school buildings were open at least a part of the day. This is not the case now. It is possible that school officials do not need to conserve energy now. Is it that hard to close schools and not use the buildings at all? Due to weather last week, my son had no school this week but had a sporting event this week – sectional diving finals. This makes very little sense.
In the 70’s, the cold was definitely more in place than it is now. Global warning – possibly and most likely, but that is for another blog. This week here where I live has been the warmest week in February so far.
It is time to rethink this week off in February.