Greater City Providence

So why did school close?

There’s a lot of head-scratching and finger pointing about schools being closed yesterday (and some today). There was a forecast for 2-4 inches of snow yesterday, but the storm ended up sailing south of us, with just a few flakes falling in the Providence area (the Cape on the other hand got up to half a foot of snow).

I’m not here to second guess the administrators, they had a forecast for extreme cold and moderate snowfall and did what they thought was right. Imagine the finger pointing if we did have 4 or more inches of snow in addition to the extreme cold yesterday and schools were open.

But one thing in the above report from Channel 12 did make me wonder. Part way into the report, Walt Buteau outlines, with a graphic, what criteria goes into school cancellations due to cold. Those criteria are if the forecast is for single digit temperatures or less, length of wait at the bus stop (if it is too cold, they don’t want kids waiting for the bus and getting frostbite), and are the sidewalks clear.

So here’s my question, taking point three into account, shouldn’t school have been cancelled since December 19th and still cancelled now? Because, the sidewalks aren’t clear in many areas.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

Add comment

Providence, RI
5:18 am8:06 pm EDT
Feels like: 57°F
Wind: 1mph SE
Humidity: 96%
Pressure: 29.97"Hg
UV index: 0
84°F / 63°F
82°F / 59°F
79°F / 57°F