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Friday, March 8, 2013

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't

Nemo introduces himself to Magoun Square

Even while other school districts and colleges closed today, the City of Somerville decided to stay open much to the dismay of some parents who vented on the Somerville-4-Schools listserv.

Just a few weeks ago, this list was abuzz with complaints about school being called off 48 hours in advance during the Nemo Blizzard. It seems that the tables have turned as parents are now angry that school was in session and that plows weren't deployed fast enough.

This thread seems to be reigniting another conversation regarding making up the days during vacation weeks or leaving them for June. Some parents have even suggested weekends, Monday holidays, and even adding an extra hour or two on the school day.

What do you think? Please comment your thoughts below.


Anonymous said...

I think you cannot please everyone. I am for make-up days during vacation break, saturdays, weekends or adding extra hours. Try to keep end date the same.

Anonymous said...

Plows were not deployed soon enough??? Please tell that to the plow diver who by 11 last night was lifting his plow, so as to not tear up our new brick cross walks, and the dropping, and I mean dropping, his blade in front of my house all night long.


Anonymous said...

B, I don't know where you live, but I drove my nephew to PHA near Central Sq this morning at 7:45 and there had clearly been no plowing on most of the streets I was on (Medford, Central, Summer, then back streets into Cambridge). I only got from Glenwood onto Medford by driving straight up onto Medford & blocking both lanes before turning right - no way my car would have moved if I had accelerated & made the right turn while on the slope of Glenwood. (This is an ongoing problem in slushy snow at that corner. Thanks to the nice person who waited for me - I wanted to wave thanks but my side window was frozen closed! In retrospect I should have just gone the wrong way down Glenwood.) I finally passed a plow going the opposite way on Summer Street. Coming home, Hampshire had been recently plowed both ways but that stopped at the Somerville line. I did see a few more plows on my way home.

I advised my neighbor with a girl in the Somerville schools to wait a while and take her daughter in later.

As for taking away mid-term vacations to save the full summer break, that seems to fly in the face of research showing that extended breaks cause regression in learning - some years ago there were people pushing (generally, not in Somerville in particular) to shorten the summer break by introducing or lengthening other breaks. Now suddenly summer is sacred???


Anonymous said...

I am on Glenwood. I will not claim the roads were clear, just that the plows were certainly out all night long.

Shortly after I moved in I had a roommate who traded his Miata for a Subaru to make that first bit from Medford on to Glenwood.


mamajoan said...

As B pointed out, there were plows last night, when the precipitation was minimal. But as Anne pointed out, this morning when there was actual significant snow on the ground, and the roads were treacherous at morning rush hour, plows were few and far between. That was frustrating.

We all understand that weather prediction is an uncertain science, but from the parent perspective it does seem crazy that they will cancel school based on PREDICTED weather (as in the case of Nemo) but not based on ACTUAL weather (as today). There should be a strong commitment to clearing the streets from DPW if the schools are going to be open, and that apparently did not happen today.

This storm obviously took everyone by surprise in terms of how much snow it brought, much more than anyone had predicted. And I could see the city saying, "well by the time we saw how bad it was, it was too late to cancel school." But there really should be a mechanism for school to be canceled on a morning like this if the conditions are bad. Which they really were. I'm usually one of the voices saying that the city did the right thing, but this time I think they messed up.

Anonymous said...

Agree with mamajoan that this was a poorly predicted storm. We can put a man on the moon, but can't tell whether we'll get snow or not? Gimme a break.