, Salem, MA


January 6, 2014

Letter: On snow days and lessons learned

To the editor:

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, a notice let me know that Beverly schools were closing Thursday and Friday for snow days. Meteorologists were predicting 6 to 12 inches of light snow over a 36-hour period. Here is the real message sent to my boys: Based on information that is frequently wrong, we’re calling off school on Wednesday for a problem we may have on Thursday and Friday.

It reminds me of the crossing guards who run into traffic with a stop sign so kids don’t have to wait, while missing the opportunity to educate them about the appropriate time to cross and teach them the meaning of patience.

Let’s fast-forward to this generation’s first couple of years in the workforce, where businesses are open in the snow. Based on what our young adults have learned, their daily choices will create their work patterns and reputation. The impact snow days from work over their lifetime is easily $100,000.

I wish the superintendent’s message was this: “Happy New Year! We have a storm coming that may require that we cancel school for the safety of the children. At this point, it looks to be light snow over a long period of time. I hope that we can all plan and make provisions to be ready to attend school. As this rolls out, I will make timely decisions and notify you promptly. Thank you for joining me in providing the best learning experience in and out of the classroom.”

It takes a local village working together to keep the U.S. in the forefront of industrialized nations.

Laurie LaBrie


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