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Snowstorm Windy Closes Schools in Lebanon

2015 is an exceptional year. We are getting one snowstorm after another. People were bracing themselves for the third snowstorm this year. It was given the name Windy, because it would be accompanied with wind-speeds up to 80 km/hr.
We barely managed to start school after snowstorm Johann when we got news of Windy. We managed to have normal school days from Monday 16 till Wednesday 18 February.
Because we already lost many school days to snowstorms, we decided to wait until snow starts falling before closing school. Many parents of boarding students started coming to take their children home on Wednesday afternoon in spite of our decision. Snowstorm Windy 2015
Thursday morning 19 February 2015 started as a normal school day, but many boarding and vocational students were absent. We went through the first two periods, but occasional snowflakes started to fall during the third.
The typical pandemonium of snow immediately followed. Bus drivers and parents started arriving to take children home. Some members of staff were asking to leave although there was very little snow on the roads. They were reminded of the simple rule that staff can only leave after all students have already gone home.
By 1:00 PM all students and members of staff had already left JLSS.
We easily could have finished the school-day and sent students home at the George Shawool Towing the Log with the Tractor end of the school hours, but the urge of almost everyone to go home the second a snowflake descends, has become the norm or excuse to go home.
The only road that closes these days in our region during the toughest storms is the Dahr El_Baidar road to Beirut. The main roads in the Beqaa are always open. Even after very heavy snowfall, bulldozers remove the snow early in the morning, and roads are open again in a few hours.
The very same people who are always eager to go home at the sight of a snowflake, find no difficulty doing other work elsewhere, or driving their cars in thick snow to go around shooting birds!
The Minister of Education decided to close schools in Lebanon from Thursday till Saturday for a very valid reason. Most schools do not heat their classrooms although they charge very high fees. Students were freezing in their classrooms and many children were getting sick.
We can only say thank God for Schneller School and our partners who support us to provide a very high standard of care to our children.
If Lebanon is to have a future, there should be standards that all schools should follow, and Lebanon must be able to function normally, with or without snow!

Saturday 21 February was a glorious day with a lot of sunshine. The director summoned the staff of the Maintenance Department in order to prepare school to receive students on Monday.
The cost of removing snow during the last storm was US$ 300 which isGeorge Shawool Towing the Log with the Tractor expensive. This time the director had an innovative idea for removing snow which would not cost JLSS any money. He hoped it would work and decided to give it a try.
He asked George Shawool to bring the school tractor and some metal chains. They then chose a heavy log from one of the pine trees that fell during the last snowstorm and chained it to the tractor. The director asked George to tow the heavy log with the tractor and see if his idea for removing snow would work.
The initial run was satisfactory but it was decided to choose an even heavier log. The heavier log did the job, but towing the log was accumulating a lot of snow, and the tractor was struggling. An adjustment was needed to gradually dispense with the accumulated snow.
The angle of towing the log was adjusted, and the idea worked well. By 1:00 PM the roads inside Schneller School were reasonably free from snow, and the school was ready to receive children on Monday.
We thank the staff of the Maintenance Department for their hard work which they always do in difficult situations when everyone else is enjoying a break at home.
Classes were resumed on Monday 23 February at 7:50 AM.

Click this Link for a Short Video of the Removal of Snow

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Schneller School Name in Arabic
Johann Ludwig Schneller Schule

Education for Peace since 1860