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For Washington School, A Sunny Day Meant No School

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For Washington School, A Sunny Day Meant No School

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For Washington School, A Sunny Day Meant No School

For Washington School, A Sunny Day Meant No School

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Bad weather can wreak havoc on a school calendar. But in Washington state on Wednesday, the Bellingham Christian School stood that on its head. Melissa Block talks to Principal Bob Sampson, who gave students the day off — because it was beautiful outside.


You know how bad weather can wreak havoc on a school calendar. Well, the Bellingham Christian School in Bellingham, Washington, stood that on its head this week. Bob Sampson is the school principal, and Mr. Sampson, you canceled classes yesterday. Why'd you do it?

Mr. BOB SAMPSON (Principal, Bellingham Christian School): We canceled classes because of good weather, didn't have any cancelations due to snow this winter. So we decided to cancel school due to good weather and have a great day.

BLOCK: Just let the kids go out and play.


BLOCK: Have you ever done that before?

Mr. SAMPSON: We did this four years ago, I think it was, and that was a big hit then. We thought, well, let's do it again. And parents love it, the kids love, and of course, staff love it.

BLOCK: Well, parents would love it, I think, if they have a little advance notice, right? Because otherwise, they have to scramble.

Mr. SAMPSON: We put a thing in the bulletin, and the deal is any day in March where there was a forecast of 63 degrees or more, then the following day, should that forecast hold, we would cancel school.

BLOCK: And how nice a day was it?

Mr. SAMPSON: It was actually set a record for this area for this particular day, 64 degrees, sunny skies. Today, though, it is raining. It's completely different.

BLOCK: So you picked the right day.

Mr. SAMPSON: It was perfect.

BLOCK: And what did you do?

Mr. SAMPSON: I was here because there were kids that needed to have child care. So myself and two other teachers were here, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. But it was worth it. It was fun for everybody.

BLOCK: No sun day for you.

Mr. SAMPSON: No sun day.

BLOCK: Well, you have a couple of students there with you, I think, right, Principal Sampson?

Mr. SAMPSON: Yes, I do.

BLOCK: Can I talk to them?

Mr. SAMPSON: Sure. Here's Laura(ph).

Ms. LAURA CASICK(ph) (Student, Bellingham Christian School): Hello?

BLOCK: Hi, Laura, what's your last name?

Ms. CASICK: Laura Casick.

BLOCK: Hey, Laura, what grade are you in?

Ms. CASICK: I'm in sixth grade.

BLOCK: And tell me how you spent your sun day.

Ms. CASICK: We went to the zoo in Vancouver with some friends.

BLOCK: And what did you see?

Ms. CASICK: We saw a lot of animals that I didn't know the name of, kind of crazy. And we also got to pet a giraffe.

BLOCK: Got to pet a giraffe?

Ms. CASICK: Yeah, he just walked right up to us, and we pet him.

BLOCK: Do you think, Laura, that now that you've had the taste of a sun day that you might want one more often?

Ms. CASICK: Yeah. I would love to have another one.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: Laura, do you have a classmate there with you?

Ms. CASICK: Yeah, I do.

Mr. AUSTIN SHAMBAKER(ph) (Student, Bellingham Christian School): Hello?

BLOCK: Hi, who's this?

Mr. SHAMBAKER: Austin Shambaker.

BLOCK: Hi, Austin, how are you?


BLOCK: What grade are you in?


BLOCK: Sixth grade. And what did you do on your sun day?

Mr. SHAMBAKER: Me and my mom went biking down to a restaurant downtown, and then we ate lunch there, and then we had to bike back home. And we went and picked up the rest of our family.

BLOCK: So you think this sun day idea is a pretty good idea?


BLOCK: What did you tell Principal Sampson about it when you came back?

Mr. SHAMBAKER: It was awesome, and we should have a lot more.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: I hear him laughing back there.


BLOCK: Thanks for talking to me.


BLOCK: And could you put Principal Sampson back on?


BLOCK: Thanks.

Mr. SAMPSON: Hello?

BLOCK: Hi. I heard you laughing back there, Principal Sampson.

Mr. SAMPSON: Yes, yeah. I'm sure they all would like a lot more.

BLOCK: Any of that in the cards?

Mr. SAMPSON: No, not for this year. Just one sun day. That's what makes it special, right?

BLOCK: I guess so. Well, thanks for talking to us about it.

Mr. SAMPSON: You're so welcome, Melissa. That was fun.

BLOCK: That's Bob Sampson, the principal of the Bellingham Christian School in Bellingham, Washington.

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