Snow Day, Snow Yay: How Mercy’s Administration Decides on our Snow Days

The eleven greatest words in an email: “Mercy High School will be closed today due to inclement weather.” Do you want to learn more about how administration makes the decision? Keep reading to  find out!

I sat down with Ms. Mary Ella Marion, Dean of Students, to find out more about the behind the scenes of our snow days. Ms. Marion is a member of a three-person team. The members are Ms. Jeanne Blakeslee (our principal), Ms. Diana Rego, (director of finance and operations) and her.

What factors go into your decision?

Ms. Marion: We look into the weather  that is reported on TV and what decision other counties have made.

How do you take into account the various weather conditions across Maryland? For example, the weather could be fine in Anne Arundel County, but in Harford County, there could be two feet of snow.

Ms. Marion: We take into account the 64 different zip codes that our Mercy Girls live in. Student safety is also of uttermost importance to us, and if the weather is varied from place to place, we wait as long as we can to make the decision.

Do you take into account the temperature when making a decision?

Ms. Marion: We look at the overall temperature for the morning especially and most of the day.

Is there a minimum number of days that students must be in school?

Ms. Marion: The state of Maryland sets the number of school days for the year at around 180 days. The reason we have online learning is so that when we set the calendar with necessary days, we have lots of room for unexpected days off.

If there is a widespread problem with the internet or with electricity, how is online learning conducted?

Ms. Marion: We take this as a student issue, and their parents must communicate directly with us for an extension on their work.

What time do you normally make your decision?

Ms. Marion: Around 5AM we communicate through a group text. Our goal is to decide by 5:30-5:45 AM.

Now that we know how administration makes snow day decisions, how do you feel? Leave a comment voicing your concerns, questions, and suggestions!