Winter weather freezes students’ class time


Emily Cassidy

Maryland declared a State of Emergency due to significant amounts of snow closing school for two days, Feb 13 and 14. Snowfall at JC measured about 15 and a half inches.

Angela DeCarlo, Copy Editor

JC has been closed for 10 snow days, in accordance with Harford County Public Schools.

“We built four snow days into the calendar [this year],” Principal Madelyn Ball said.

However, according to Ball, when Bishop Madden granted us a day off school at the Grandparents Day Mass on Jan. 27, he exempted us from having to make up a day. Thus, only three days need to be made up.

On Feb. 7, Ball made a morning announcement, stating that Feb. 17 and March 17 would be schooldays, not days off. This leaves one day left to make up.

The 10 a.m. school closure on Feb. 2 did count as a full day.

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The rumors of three-minute mod changes and the extension of the school day have been circulating, but they are just ideas. There has not been a decision as to how the third day will be made up.

“I am never in favor of adding days onto the end of the year because it does not help the seniors and the kids in AP classes,” Ball said.

According to Ball, one idea is to add a mod to the end of the day for the course of a week.

For example, if school was closed on Monday due to snow, the rest of the week would be spent making up lost mods in the new 2:45-3:30 section. Again, this is just an idea and has yet to be set in stone.

In an effort to combat the lost class time, Ball said in her Feb. 7 morning announcement that JC will no longer have snow days, but Cyber Days where teachers will post work online and students are to turn in their homework via email.

According to Ball, if there is a snow storm forecast, students should bring home their books.

“I do not like it one bit,” sophomore Sean Campbell said. “I don’t think we should do work on things we haven’t learned.”

“I won’t even do it. It’s busy work and a waste of time. I have better things to do with my time,” senior Jordan Flagler said.


With 10 days off school, teachers and students have missed two weeks of class time. Additionally, AP classes struggle to make up the debt in time for the AP tests in May.

“We’re a week and a half behind . I’m trying to catch up, but it is difficult,” AP United States History teacher Anthony Del Puppo said. “I’m going to have to double the pace.”

Math teacher Courtney Von Lange doesn’t like how the snow affects her classes’ routines. “I would much prefer just having a delay for safety reasons and being here and getting work done,” Von Lange said.

According to junior Lien Baranoski, “[The snow days] are very enjoyable. I’ve been able to catch up on my sleep. The only downside is falling behind in work.”

But how does the snow affect the Facilities Department?

“We try to stay ahead of the weather,” Building Engineer Justin VanBuskirk said. The Head Groundskeeper Tom Blevins is the first one who plows and salts.

According to VanBuskirk, Blevins handles the driveway and parking lot, and the rest of the staff shovels the sidewalk.

“When the forecast comes in, we shift times with our workers,” Director of Facilities Stewart Walker said. “When storms start, they come in before it starts and prepare for it. We’re fortunate to have a great team to work together when it snows.”

According to Walker, the more snow storms we have, the bigger the impact on facilities’ budget. They spend $200 in 20 bags of salt for each snow day. An additional $150 is spent in fuel for the plows and other equipment.

Despite the lack of class time and the snow days’ impact on the year’s schedule, students and faculty appreciate the day off.

“I love snow days. Even though I normally work anyhow on those days, it is just such a gift to wake up and get the call that school is closed for the day,” Ball said.

“The bottom line is, I lost some time and that’s not good,” math teacher George Appleby said, “but it’s nice to have a snow day.”

Angela DeCarlo is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and