Chippewa Valley High School junior Daniella Grainger, left, celebrates a snow day with Superintendent Ron Roberts Dec. 14 after Grainger recorded a video of herself singing a song she wrote asking Roberts to declare a snow day.

Chippewa Valley High School junior Daniella Grainger, left, celebrates a snow day with Superintendent Ron Roberts Dec. 14 after Grainger recorded a video of herself singing a song she wrote asking Roberts to declare a snow day.

Photo provided by James Pecar


Chippewa student’s video plea for a snow day goes viral

By: Joshua Gordon | C&G Newspapers | Published December 22, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A flair for the creative, a personal plea and a mention of marshmallows. Chippewa Valley High School junior Daniella Grainger knew exactly what to do to get to the heart of Superintendent Ron Roberts earlier this month when asking for a snow day.

Most school districts around metro Detroit gave students a snow day on Dec. 14, with the area getting between 5 and 9 inches of snow overnight. And Chippewa Valley Schools was one of them, with Roberts calling it at 9 p.m. the night before.

But that didn’t stop Grainger from writing and recording a roughly one-minute song asking Roberts to give the students a snow day. Grainger said she thought of the idea at the dinner table and ran downstairs Dec. 13 to write and play the song on her guitar.

She then shared the video on Twitter and tagged Roberts. While Roberts said he didn’t see the song until after he made the call for the snow day, the video has amassed over 54,000 views and 2,500 likes as of Dec. 21.

And Grainger made sure to mention marshmallows, a callback to a previous snow day announcement by Roberts on Twitter, in which he posted a photo of himself holding hot chocolate with marshmallows. In the song, Grainger said she would give Roberts some marshmallows if he gave them a snow day.

“It is a joke in our district to try and tweet Ron Roberts to try and convince him to give us a snow day,” Grainger said. “I am really big on music and thought it would be funny to write a song asking for a snow day. And I had to mention marshmallows.”

Grainger said it only took her about six minutes to write the song, but it was a departure from her usual musical creativity. Grainger is involved with several programs at the high school, including choir, the school musical and drama club.

She got her intro into music at 7, when she received a drum set for Christmas, and that led to her eventually learning to play piano and guitar, as well as learn to write music. Typically, Grainger said, she writes more serious songs, but she enjoyed writing a “funny, random song.”

While Grainger was spending those six minutes writing the song, Roberts said he was actively involved with discussions with superintendents around metro Detroit discussing the possibility of calling a snow day for Dec. 14. The district had already had an early release for high school and middle school students on Dec. 13 when the snow started.

Roberts said he had a conference call with other Macomb County superintendents to discuss what everyone was going to do. He said typically schools in close proximity make the same call.

“We talk about when the snow is supposed to end and whether the parking lots can be clean, and neighborhoods are always an issue,” Roberts said. “If we can, we like to cancel the night before, as it allows for families to make arrangements for the next day if they have a job they have to be at.”

When the call finally came in around 9 p.m., Roberts said he had time to sit back and look at his phone, and that is when he saw he was getting notifications from many students about wanting a snow day, including Grainger’s video.

Roberts has over 4,500 followers on Twitter, and he regularly communicates with the school community through the social media platform, whether it be announcements or pictures of him at school events.

“It really does give me a connection to the students,” Roberts said of Twitter. “As a central office administrator, that is what you give up when you come here, and that was never easy for me. To me, the greatest joy in what we do here is having relationships with the students, so this kind of bridges that for me.

“When I go to schools, kids know who I am and I think that is very positive.”

Grainger’s song ended up getting played on the radio and shared around social media, with nearly 1,000 retweets. When school was back in session on Dec. 15, Grainger said, people told her she was famous and she got high fives from people she said she didn’t think knew she existed.

Like Roberts, Grainger said she sees the district’s superintendent using Twitter as a positive and that the students see Roberts as a celebrity in the district because of it.

Well, Roberts may have to make some room at the top for Grainger now.