COLUMBIA — Although it was a snow day, a group of students spent Thursday morning at Derby Ridge Elementary School drawing pictures of penguins and snowmen on skis.
The students were there for Elementary Snow Day Club, a Columbia Public Schools program that offers working parents a place to keep their kids safe and entertained on snow days. The program is also held at Mill Creek and West Boulevard elementary schools.
Attendance was lower than anticipated on the first snow day of the school year.
Both Derby Ridge and West Boulevard Elementary expected 30 children, but only 15 had arrived at each location by 9 a.m. Only 12 came to Mill Creek Elementary, where 42 children had signed up.
Mill Creek Principal Tabetha Rawlings said the intensity of the storm had caused the low number of students.
“I’ve had some of parents call in and say they would just keep them at home,” Rawlings said.
Snow Club ends at 3 p.m., but all three locations said parents had called to say they would pick up their children early.
“It all depends on Mother Nature,” Derby Ridge Elementary Principal Jeri Petre said. “Parents are watching the weather really closely.”
After Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency for Missouri, Derby Ridge Elementary began calling parents to suggest picking up their kids early. They will still stay open until 3 p.m., however.
Besides snow-themed crafts and activities, Snow Club offers activities based on the students' curriculum, such as reading, computer games and science experiments. Building balloon rockets is on the agenda.
“We try to mix in some academic with a lot of fun,” Petre said.
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