sun kids playground
In sun-deprived Washington state, the promise of nice spring weather prompted a small private school to give students a day off to enjoy the sunshine. (AP Photo/file)

School canceled due to 'sun day' in Washington

In sun-deprived Washington state, the promise of nice spring weather prompted a small private school to give students a day off to enjoy the sunshine.

"We decided to cancel school due to excellent weather in the Pacific Northwest," said Bellingham Christian School Principal Bob Sampson.

Friday is a "sun day" of sorts for the 205 students at the small private Christian school in Bellingham.

"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 Sampson said he wanted to give students some time to re-energize and enjoy the weather, adding that he wanted to re-create the excitement snow days get among the kids.

"As a kid myself, I used to love sitting around when it snowed and just waiting with anticipation to get up in the morning and see that school was canceled. I just loved it. I thought well we didn't have any snow days, why not cancel school due to good weather," said Sampson.

He began teasing the possibility of giving the day off earlier in the week. A student said they were all waiting for the final decision.

"Mr. Sampson announced it earlier this week and he said if it's nice and sunny, that we get to skip school. So then we all waited. It was supposed to be yesterday, but it wasn't sunny enough, so then we decided until today, and today was over 63 degrees, so we did."

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.

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. A student told KIRO Radio his parents thought it was a great idea.

"They thought it was really cool. They were really excited and they thought it was really cool that us kids would get a day off and go have fun in the sun."

The 22 staff members also get the day off.

"The kids have been working hard, and the teachers, we've got a super staff," said Sampson. "We get to celebrate a lot of joy."

Sampson and another staff member are still at school 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

KIRO Radio Staff, Staff report
Straight from the newsdesk.
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