The Ultimate Decision: Snow Day or School Day?
By Natalie Copeland
There has been a lot of hype recently at Hanover High regarding snow days, so I met with Wayne Gersen, Superintendent of the Dresden School District, in his office for a short interview. It turns out that the procedure for calling a snow day is pretty simple; as I spoke with the superintendent, I learned just how it works.
Mr. Gersen explained that on the morning of a potential snow day, he wakes up early, usually at about 5:30, and phones Assistant Superintendent John Aubin; then, while the rest of us continue sleeping, they decide our immediate future. Mr. Gersen declared that really, they don’t make a big fuss about it. First, he looks out his window to observe the current weather and checks online at Weatherchannel.com, which he has conveniently bookmarked on his computer. His next step is speaking with the Hanover and Norwich road crews. Using these pieces of information, along with his own best judgment, he makes the call.
Many people were wondering why Mr. Gersen did not announce a snow day during the week of exams, when the January weather seemed highly treacherous. When asked about this decision, he explained that by 5:30 AM, when he woke up, the snow had not started yet, the weather outside looked completely calm, and the weather forecast seemed reasonable. Therefore, he opted not to call a snow day. Midterm exams had nothing to do with the final decision, Mr. Gersen said.
Last week, by contrast, Mr. Gersen and Mr. Aubin announced a snow day a day in advance. I asked Mr. Gersen why he felt confident in calling off school for February 2. He responded that on that Tuesday, he had already heard from the road crews, who were fairly certain that students would not be able to travel safely home from school, as the weather was predicted to worsen throughout the day. With this information, it was an easy call: No safety, no school.