By the Block 1 Journalism Class
Many students and high school staff members interviewed during first block Wednesday said they were surprised school was not cancelled or at least delayed due to snowy weather.
One student, Moorea Colby, a junior, said she hit a bus while driving to school.
Colby said she should have been driving slower in the snow, but as an inexperienced driver thought she would be fine. She saw the bus in front of her, put on her brakes, but her car did not stop in time, colliding with the rear end of the bus.
All of the students on the bus were fine, according to Colby, and were transported to school via another bus.
Colby said, “I think a delay would have been nice.” A lot of roads were not sufficiently plowed, she said, and a police officer told her there had been numerous accidents.
Wednesday morning the Eagle-Tribune reported that there were multiple cars off the road in Andover and that a towing company was running out of tow trucks. A police cruiser had crashed near Salem Street while responding to a 911 call.
Mathilde Mauge, a sophomore who got a ride to school with her sister Romane, a senior, said the roads were really bad and the pair almost got into multiple accidents and saw two.
Social studies teacher Ms. Robb, an Andover resident, said her ride was “very short but very precarious.” She said she was very surprised there was no alteration to the school schedule. She said she was more concerned about the safety of the students than another potential delay to the finals schedule.
Superintendent Marinel McGrath could not be reached Wednesday morning for comment on her decision to go forward with school.
Some teachers came from farther away than Andover. Ms. Martin, a member of the art department, said her usual 45-minute commute from Brookline took an hour longer. “I jackknifed on my way here and I passed two accidents on 93,” she said.
Some encountered issues commuting by foot.
Marcello Cirelli, a sophomore, had to walk a half-mile to his bus stop. He slipped and waited, soaking wet, for his bus, which did not come. He had to wait for another bus, he said.
Eddie Powers, a junior, who parked at and walked from Red Spring, said, “The pathway was not plowed at all. There was four to five inches of snow. It was awful. The parking lot was not plowed. You couldn’t even find your spot.”
Sean Carroll, a junior, who also walked from Red Spring, said he agreed that conditions were not optimal for the second storm in a row. “My pants got really wet,” he said.
Dennis Berm, a custodian, thought a two-hour delay was in order because the custodial staff get to school usually at 6 a.m., and that’s when the snow became thick. He said he needed more time with the four other custodians to shovel.
“We have to be out there constantly shoveling,” he said, noting that sidewalks, stairs and all school entrances need to be kept clear.
As first block continued, many students were hoping for an early release, but some faculty did not think it likely. “I have kind of a crystal ball about these things,” Ms. Choquette said, half-way through first block. “I have been able to predict snow days very well. [The current weather conditions are] the worst of it so if it gets any better I don’t expect us to get an early release.”
The cafeteria staff said they are typically notified by 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. when there will be an early dismissal. They typically begin prep for first lunch at that time, but as of 9 a.m. Wednesday they had not heard of any change to the school schedule.
One hopeful cafeteria worker, Pat Croteau, said she did her best ceremonial snow dance Tuesday evening and, on Wednesday morning, was doing her best half-day dance. Apparently, her efforts failed.