Snow-less Snow Days

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This picture, taken during the blizzard of 2010, brought with it legitimate cause for lengthy school closure.

Along with scores of other local parents, I kept a closer-than-usual eye on my mobile device Friday morning, sort of half waiting for the call.

Sometime around mid-morning, it came. I picked up the phone and, upon hearing the pre-recorded message—“School will not be closing early today, and after-school care will be available”—breathed a sigh of relief. Other parents weren’t so lucky. Baltimore County Public Schools dismissed school two hours early. Baltimore City Public Schools decided to cancel early, then rescinded the decision (maybe realizing how ludicrous it was), no doubt sending parents into a total tailspin as they hustled to make last-minute childcare plans only to scrap them an hour or so later. But here’s the really crazy thing.

The snow never materialized, at least not during regularly scheduled school hours. Okay, maybe this doesn’t sound too strange; in fact, it’s becoming more commonplace with each passing winter—around here, anyway. But this phenomenon probably does seem a little nutty to folks who grew up in areas that regularly get bombarded with snow. In fact, just the other day, an acquaintance who grew up in Eerie, Pennsylvania, where a thick impenetrable layer of packed snow covered the streets of her town every winter, all winter, told me she can count on one hand the number of snow days she experienced growing up. When our kids grow up, maybe they’ll be able to count on one, or at least two, hands the number of times they got out of school before it started snowing.

Seeing as it’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence to call off school in anticipation of snow that may or may not fall, perhaps we should come up with a name for it. A no-snow day? A chance-of-snow day? Tell us what you think.

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  1. How about “Enabling Day” as in school officials are enabling the public to a greater and unfounded fear of snow.

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