SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Parents are used to hearing whether their child will have school on a day-by-day basis. But in Somerville, the decision was made to cancel classes until at least Thursday.
“We originally planned to lift the snow emergency declaration tonight at 6 p.m. and all related parking bans,” said Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who along with other city and school leaders decided Monday to call off school for both Tuesday and Wednesday and keep that emergency declaration in place.
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Outside the Argenziano School on Washington Street, Department of Public Works crews worked into the dark clearing driveways and walkways. “We know we can get the school buildings cleared out, but its those approaches, those intersections, those crosswalks and stretches of sidewalks leading up to the schools in all directions that we are most concerned with,” Curtatone said.
Since the snow stopped Saturday, the Mayor’s seen how the massive amounts crippled his city, making it tough, still, just to walk around. And many students do walk to and from campus.
“Many of our intersections have either impaired visibility or impeded access because you have these giant snow mounds on crosswalks and ramps and just makes for a very treacherous situation,” he explained.
So the best call was to keep students, like 10th grader Theodora Babilye home two more days. “I was kind of shocked that it would be two days instead of one,” she said. She and a friend were in route to the library. Both understood safety concerns, but were eager to get back to class. “I do want to go back to school because when we take off from school we tend to forget what we’re learning,” she said. “We have February vacation next week.”
Medford Mother Mikki Grant heard about Somerville’s decision. She felt for parents who’ll have to plan childcare an additional day. “It is hard because of time off you have to use your vacation days,” she said. “I thought they’d definitely be back to school tomorrow and that would be it.”
Mayor Curtatone understands the concern. He has four children in Somerville Schools and knows snow days, especially a few in a row, can be frustrating. But making the decision in advance lets families plan ahead. “Our reasoning is grounded on public safety and safety of their children first and it does give them time, they know at least through Wednesday, it’s cancelled.”