Unnecessary snow days can easily be prevented


Courtesy of cambridge-news.co.uk

Josh Sodicoff, Eastside Staff

With the winter storm that brought school to an early close on Jan. 26 and a shutdown the day after, there have been great speculation. The particular criticism is that there did not seem to be any storm, just small amounts of snow. As such, members of our community believe a review of the school’s method for cutting days short and canceling them all together must be evaluated.

It is true that what happened Monday could have not been avoided. While much speculation was in the air, a massive storm was still expected. However, the cancellation of school on Tuesday could have been prevented, and the way it could have been handled would have set a standard for days with ambiguous forecasts.

The winter storm that hit the East coast on  Jan 27, winter storm Juno, had rapidly changing signs. Early on, Eastside’s meteorologist Jake Stofman (‘18), predicted between 10 and 16 inches in the area. However, as time went on, the numbers became less and less drastic, and by the time all of the snow had hit the ground, perhaps only two inches fell.

Even experts could not predict this, and so no blame can be placed for inaccurate numbers. However, by 8 p.m. on Monday night, the school closing had been announced. The lower numbers had also appeared on television, online and through other sources of media.

It can be generally assumed that a two hour delay would have been fair time in clearing the roads for a safe commute, and had the school been less hasty with the judgement to close, that would have been the prognosis.

The way to go forward for the school, as well as others in the area, should be decide at 10 p.m. the night before. In the event of our recent “snowstorm,” the wimpy details of the storm were well known by then.

Predictions at 10 a.m. do not leave students hanging, and would reduce the chances of incredibly late cancellations, such as ones that have occurred in previous years. Furthermore, 10 p.m. cancellations generally do not disturb the student body from sleep, and the notice will help students understand what will be happening the next day.

This year, the Cherry Hill school district will lose Feb. 16, President’s day, for this mistake. No student should have to unnecessarily sacrifice this glorious day to makeup school. Next time, the district should be prepared well in advance.