The Providence community has seen an unfamiliar message on our school homepage this winter: School closed due to inclement weather. Record snowfall and brutally frigid temperatures over the last month have occasioned a record number of snow days for PA.
Several snowfalls faster than plows can keep up have delayed the start to our school day and the -40-degree wind chill in late January kept us hunkered down at home during. Many schools in the Plymouth Wayzata area had similar reactions. However, many schools such as Wayzata had nine snow days and numerous delays. In comparison, PA would be classified as conservative with days off.
The two-hour delay is often caused by technical difficulties with buses or worry for student’s safety on the roads. According to safewinterroads.com, 39% of accidents happen during winter related weather. This weather could include sleet, slush, snow, and ice. Taking into account that according to the CDC accidents are three times more likely to occur with drivers aged 16-19 the safety of the students must be accounted for.
For some of us, we have to think back to our time in lower school, when a snow day was the best kind of day filled with snow angels, snow forts, snow sports, and hot cocoa. What are upper schoolers doing with this gift of time? Many are doing something like schoolwork, or working seasonally with landscaping companies to clear neighborhood driveways and sidewalks…certainly not as fun as making a snow fort.
Frankie Walker, ’21 noted, “I used my snow day to clean my room and catch up on homework.” Max Peckenschneider, ‘20 says “when the weather gets really bad, one of my parents will drive me in because I live in Minneapolis it can be a hard drive in bad weather”. For new drivers, this winter is their first time driving in snow; a morning commute on the interstate might not be the best place to learn how to handle the treacherous roads.
PA and all other schools have to take into account the well being of their students. Francesca Benson, ‘20 comments, “sometimes the roads will be so bad my parents will not even want to drive in so I have to stay home”.
When the weather gets bad, the administration is faced with a difficult decision. They have to hold in value both their student’s safety and their well being. Thankfully, PA has its students’ best intentions in mind.
Although the snow day may be an inconvenience for teachers. It can cause pushed back lesson plans, delayed tests, and quizzes. This is when moodle becomes a very convenient resource. Moodle allows for the teachers to contact the students when a class is canceled. This allows the students to stay relatively caught up.
Parents and students put their trust in the administration to account for the safety of their children.