Many parents and staff have written in to us to share their displeasure, concern, and overall disappointment with the officials at MVRCS who are responsible for making the decision of whether we should have a snow day or not. After deciding yesterday to 'allow' parents to retrieve their children early without penalty and with the prediction of today being equally bad (if not worse), we must say that it was quite surprising that classes at MVRCS were not canceled today. Not only were all sending districts canceled but the Governor of Massachusetts had instructed all non-essential state employees to not report for work in the interest of safety and enable quicker cleanup of the storm yet MVRCS felt that a day of education was warranted and of more importance than the efforts of government officials and offices. Granted, we have heard repeatedly that the idea of adding the day to the end of the school year was not ideal, but the safety of not only our children but of the staff members surely outweighed the inconvenience. We're not sure which individual or individuals are responsible for the decision but one has to question whether it was based on pride (MVRCS NEVER CANCELS), ignorance, or little regard for those students who do not live within walking distance of the school. In either case, the decision (we feel) put the safety of our children at risk.
The issue of the staff being required to report to school is also worth mentioning. Just as we value our children we value the safety of the staff and teachers of the school. Not only did they require teachers to be there (otherwise they were not paid for the day and could not use their time off) but they took note of teachers and staff that arrived late. It is unfortunate enough that they were required to be there but special consideration and leniency should have been extended. The teachers and staff should have been commended and their efforts appreciated at their making it into work (after many probably had to dig themselves out and/or were subjected to a tedious commute). It is no wonder that the turnover rate is so high at MVRCS.
We should clarify that before writing this posting we did venture out to experience the roads first hand. We were fortunate to have a vehicle with front wheel drive and still found the driving conditions challenging. It should be noted that we have also heard of bob-cats overturning and that even trains and trolleys are experiencing difficulties as a result of the snow and/or icy conditions. We can only imagine what the conditions will be like at the end of the school day and for the school buses. Let us all hope that neither the students nor staff members are the victims of any casualties.
As it turned out we understand that the majority of parents either kept their children home or had them released early. We have heard that the person(s) responsible for making the decision regarding snow days believes that parents do not want school to be canceled (for whatever reason). While no one wants to be at the school later in the school year than necessary, one would imagine that we hold the safety of our children above the inconvenience of adding a day to the end of the year. Our staff and teachers should not be held with such little disregard that they are made to feel as though they are there to 'babysit' our children; they are there to educate them and one has to wonder how much educating occurred today. We suggest that parents who took issue with school NOT being canceled today make sure to voice your concerns with not only Dr. McCleary but also with Neil Kinnon and the Board of Trustees to ensure that they understand the priority we place on the safety of our children.