School cancellation policy creates headaches

School cancellation policy creates headaches

Similar to the monster snowstorm on Feb. 1, Hinsdale Central was left reeling by calls for the cancellation of school on Feb. 18.

Today’s temperature will reach 20 degrees below zero in some areas of Chicago, which is why some students thought school should be cancelled. But the question to cancel is not as important as when the decision comes.

For instance, the storm on Feb. 1, the fifth largest ever recorded in the Chicago area, left 16.2 inches of snow in its wake in some places, and made travel extremely difficult for people all over the city. The storm not only added difficulty to travel, but also led to the loss of power in parts of the Chicago area, and made super bowl parties difficult to hold. And yet, the decision to cancel school was not made until the morning of Monday, Feb. 2.

The tardiness of the decision by the district to cancel school has also led to criticism and backlash due to the difficulty presented to some students. Many students accidentally woke up early because they were oblivious to the fact school was cancelled at 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 2, and others made the mistake of going to the school.

One junior, Neil Outarsingh, made this mistake, and showed up at school at the normal time.

“The failure to cancel school the night before made it difficult for students to prepare for school itself, and actually led to less sleep than normal,” Outarsingh said. “Some students stayed up late to watch the Super Bowl, and then woke up early in order to get to the school at the normal time. As a whole, the decision by the board made things very difficult for students who were oblivious to the nature of the decision.”

Junior Caroline Kealy agreed with Outarsingh, “It’s irresponsible to wait until the morning of because it doesn’t give us enough time to plan for the day.”

On Feb. 18, Superintendent Bruce Law posted an announcement to the district page explaining that the decision to cancel school is a difficult one that involves additional time to plan. The district makes a point to follow updated weather reports, and this includes up until the morning hours. Law explained that student and faculty safety is the first priority in making this decision and that the extra time allows the district to make the best decision.

But even with this in mind, students still felt that the timeliness of the decision is inconvenient.

“People are not prepared when the district makes a last minute decision like that,” said Nicole Eichelman, junior.

The preparation is mostly for parents who drive their children to school, according to Kyle Hyland, junior, “For parents who both work, they need ample time to know if they have to take their children in the morning.”

As a whole, the district’s decision to wait to cancel school until 5 a.m. is a poor policy and creates logistical problems for many students.