The making of a Snow Day at MSJ

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

From the Principal's Desk: 2/15/19

Dear Mounties:

It certainly has been a snowy and icy winter so far. Keeping this in mind, I thought I would walk everyone through the process of calling a snow day for CKS and MSJ. As we do not have a supervisory union or a local Superintendent, the decision about a snow falls on myself, Mr. Hall and Mrs. Millard. Here is how it usually goes:

Usually three to four days before an impending storm we become aware of the severity that is expected. The weather people like to change their minds so the three of us keep careful watch concerning how much snow they are calling for, when it is supposed to begin and end, and whether or not they are saying we will have icy or freezing rain with the storm. The day before the storm is supposed to hit we heighten our awareness by checking the weather channel at least once an hour all the while fielding the inevitable question from the students, “Is tomorrow going to be a snow day?,” at least 280 times (one question per student).

The night of/or just before the storm, I get up several times to see how much snow we are getting. Finally, at around 4:45 I get up and begin to check the WCAX school closings page, refreshing it often to see which schools are closing around us. At about 5:15 I begin the group chat with Mrs. Millard and Mr. Hall. This chat goes on for about 45 minutes as we deliberate over if we should go with a normal day, have a delay or close.

The chat usually looks something like this:

5:15 am:

SF: Thoughts about a delay or snow day?

PH: The roads were clear earlier but they are starting to get slick. I see that some schools are already starting to close.

LM: Schools near my house are closing. I don’t know my street doesn’t look to bad but I know that roads near the schools are worse. Parking lots and sidewalks will be bad as well.

5:25 am

PH: This is the post on FB: “WEATHER ADVISORY: The newest forecast for our area states the rain should end by 6am: temperatures will start dropping, causing roads, sidewalks and driveways to refreeze. Black ice will form and will create slippery conditions for the morning. Snow will continue until 5pm”. I think we should close.

SF: The schools in our outlying areas are closing one by one. We need to decide before 6.

LM: You guys know better than me but it sounds like we should close.

5:45 am

PH: It’s supposed to rain or snow from now until like 5. With our teenage drivers, I say close.

SF: Yes, I am always worried about our drivers. Close?

PH: Snow day.

LM: Agreed.

SF: Ok I will send the message.

PH: I will post on Facebook and send the email.

LM: I will post for CKS and send the email.

SF: Have a good day off, stay safe.

PH: You too.

LM: You too.

Snow days are always hard to call and I know that I am grateful to have Mr. Hall and Mrs. Millard to give their input as to what we are going to do. Let’s hope that as the winter starts to wind down that there are less of these decisions to be made. I don’t know about everyone else but I would definitely prefer a day off in the warm sunshine rather than a day stuck inside because of ice and snow. 72 more days until summer!!!

I hope everyone has a great break!!!


Sarah M. Fortier, CKS’95/ MSJ’99

Mount St. Joseph Academy

127 Convent Avenue

Rutland, Vermont 05701


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