Snow Day Q&A with TK


Nikita Pande, Staff Writer

This Monday, Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly rallied students in the cafeteria to get them excited about the possibility of a snow day, Alessandra Agopian (10) said. “He had his arms raised and was calling ‘Who wants a snow day? Clap for a snow day!’” We interviewed Dr. Kelly to learn about snow days at the school.

What factors go into calling a snow day?

I consult the other heads of school on The Hill, our Director of Facilities Management, the local police department and several weather outlets. If the decision is not obvious, I also speak with the owners of SuperSelby. And let’s not forget the legacy left by Mr. Francis’ HMPSDI (HM Potential Snow Day Index). The presence of ice, black ice or frozen snow and/or rain is the most concerning. It doesn’t take a lot of snow in the presence of ice for us to have a safety concern in need of a response. It is, however, easier to close school in the presence of 8-12 inches of snow vs. a layer of ice. 

How many snow days can there be per year?

Above three creates a problem in terms of a minimum number of instructional days. That said, there are other reasons for closing school, too, and no one should think that in the absence of a snow day those three days are give back days. 

How will climate change affect future snow days?

Every year, we seem to see our snow events falling later in the year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw snow in late March or early April. It’s hard to ignore the possibility that climate change has contributed to what we are seeing.

What do snow days mean to you?

I’m a firm believer that snow days are one of many surprises students (and, in many cases, employees!) should be able to look forward to from year to year. I know I looked forward to the occasional snow day each year when I was moving through the K-12 system. I get a chuckle out of the fact that I grew up to be someone with the responsibility to call a snow day; what a magical life it is!