Snow School


Sidewalks have posed as a potential hazard for walkers trying to get to school. This year’s snowfall tends to come during the morning commute, when simply shoveling the snow doesn’t work, as snow still continues to fall.

The school has already had more snow days and delays this school year than the entirety of last year, and it is only half way through the winter. These cancellations and delays have greatly affected classes and school activities.

Even though there has been more snowfall this year, some argue that Arlington Public Schools (APS) is becoming more lenient when deciding on the school’s status after snowfall.

“I think after that one day in November, when we got so much snow but we still had school, APS realized that they needed to become more careful and cautious when making a status decision,” freshman Sam Hughes said.

       During that same day, APS sent out an apology to all students, staff and parents for opening the schools and for any trouble they have caused.     

“I could not make it to all of my stops,” bus driver Mr. Abel Gerbegger said. “Half of my stops that day were on top of a hill, and it was too dangerous to attempt getting in there.”     

Attendance was also excused for the entirety of day, due to bus delays that took anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Some buses did not make it to their stops at all as a result of the hazardous road conditions and steep hills.

         “I don’t blame my bus for not showing up,” sophomore Diego Lainez said.  “I live near a steep hill and the whole road was completely frozen.”

          After that day, APS administrators have been more accepting of the fact that schools should be closed or delayed with a certain amount of snowfall, and more cautious about possible snowfall.

             After the snow storm that gave six inches of snow in early January, APS closed schools for two days. However, Fairfax County, Alexandria City and Washington, D.C. schools all returned to school on the Tuesday after the storm.

            “I was really surprised that we weren’t open and Fairfax only had a delayed opening,” junior Darren Ling said. “I was sure we would get a delayed opening, but not a closing.”

          After that storm, APS went on to give multiple delayed openings, including a whole week of delayed openings due to the polar vortex of early February.

The delays and cancellations have also caused soccer, tennis, and lacrosse tryouts for both boys and girls to be cancelled, due to the storm on February 20. They now will have to figure out another time for the cancelled date, as all the other spring sports tryouts are scheduled for the following week.

         “It’s really nice to be able to sleep in more now,” Hughes said. “Only time will tell how the rest of the winter will go.”