Taking An Umbrella–Rather Than Umbrage–On Rainy Days


Ashlyn Anderson, Staff Writer

Some students take umbrage at the thought of traveling from one building on campus to another during inclement weather.

As a result, umbrella’s are the newest life-saver among Elkhart High School students on rainy days. All students have valuable items, like iPads, phones, headphones and even shoes that they don’t want ruined by the rain. 

With new buildings around the high school campus requiring students to go outside to get to classes, the weather affects that journey everyday. Thankfully, umbrellas have been placed at every door that is normally used by students, so that when the weather is bad, it doesn’t necessarily make a student’s day equally bad. This idea was brought to action by Ms. Julie Tyrakowski. The idea is that a student can pick up an umbrella at one exit door in a building, use it while traveling outside, and deposit it back in the container at the door of the next building. Staff will try to keep the number of umbrellas equitable at all locations.

But planning ahead, what do students do when the weather is more severe? That is a question that doesn’t have a definitive answer. Students are already wondering what they are supposed to do in the case of a lightning storm during passing periods. Are they expected to travel out into the lightning or remain in their present location? Will walking paths be maintained when the snow hits, or will students be expected to tromp through knee-deep snow?

Jamie Snyder, director of Safety, Security and Risk Management for Elkhart Community Schools, shares this: “We have plans for each weather-related event and what it means if we exercise that option.” However, this explanation is more on point to corporation-wide situations rather than between buildings on the West Campus. There is a team who travels the roads on potentially dangerous weather days–this weather can include snow, fog, flooding or extreme cold. The team often asks street departments, surrounding districts, or even law enforcement for input on the conditions. Calling for cancellations or delays for one building isn’t usually common, so luckily for students, it will apply to all buildings–even if it’s only severe in one area. So, this means that if the weather is too severe, the school day may be altered. Snyder assures, however, that there are individual plans for every type of weather set in place.

For now, umbrellas are the only “back up” plan for traveling outside to classes and keeping students and their valuable items safe from cold, rainy weather. They will just have to see what this winter brings and how that will affect their traveling between buildings. Maybe there will be a bin with snowshoes in them!