A boy jumps into a pool, Wednesday, July, 11, 2007, in Seattle. Records for heat were set at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in Olympia and in Bellingham. Photo: AP
In a sun-deprived part of Washington state, the promise of nice spring weather prompted a small private school to give students a day off to enjoy the sunshine.
Friday is a "sun day" of sorts for the 205 students at Bellingham Christian School, a small, private, nondenominational Christian school in Bellingham, Wash., about 90 miles north of Seattle.
"SCHOOL CANCELLED DUE TO GREAT WEATHER! WAHOOO!" the school's website announced Thursday night. "Yeah! It's a Sun Day today and everyone gets the day off from school."
Principal Bob Sampson said he wanted to give students some time to re-energise and enjoy the weather, adding that he wanted to re-create the excitement snow days get among the kids. He began teasing the possibility of giving the day off earlier in the week.
"In a world that's got a lot hard things going, it's fun to create a moment of joy," Sampson said.
The forecast for Western Washington calls for a weekend of sunshine, with highs hitting the low 80s in some parts of the region on Sunday.
The sun day was also made possible because there weren't any days off because of snow this school year.
"Kids just love the anticipation of sitting around see if school is canceled when it snows," he said. "You know, we haven't had any snow days, so I thought 'how fun would it be to create that anticipation for kids when it's nice out?'"
Sampson surveyed parents to make sure the day off wouldn't cause any hardships and floated the idea with the school board before canceling school, he said. The 22 staff members will also get the day off, he added.
Sampson and another staff member will be at the school bright and early, though, to welcome any students who didn't get the notice.
The principal asked students to take pictures of what they do on their sunny day off. He plans to show the pictures at an assembly Monday.
It's not the first time the school has given students the day off because of sunshine. The last time was two years ago.