As you can imagine, calling a snow day or delay is a tricky one. Those who rely on us for child care have an issue if we delay or cancel. If we do not, there is always some back road or some situation that makes life difficult for our families and faculty.
This morning’s call was easier because all of the public schools surrounding us called a two hour delay. Many of our kids rely on their busing. Also Malvern Prep called a delay, and our situation is probably more like theirs than some of the independent schools we used to be closer to on the Merion campus.
So, with Rosetree Media, TE, Marple Newtown, Great Valley, Haverford Twp, and West Chester all in delay, the choice was clear to me.
A Day in the Life
We obviously start thinking of this early. Our crew salts and sands beforehand, and plows throughout the day. Then they come in around 3:30 a.m. in order to give me every flexibility. I am in touch with the news like you, but I also communicate with independent and public schools to try and coordinate. We like to try and make a call before 5 am to let the buses know. I realize no matter what we decide, it will be a problem for some. As always, we try and do our best.
Doug Parsons, our Dean of Faculty, opened chapel with a reflection on the passing of Nelson Mandela. I found his thoughts particularly poignant and worth sharing:
I’ve been asked to say a word on the passing of one of the truly great historical figures of our time, Nelson Mandela, who died last night at the age of 95. Last summer, I stood before Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island, the place where Mandela was held captive from 1964-1980. It was about six feet square, with a mat on the floor for sleeping, a small table with a drawer for the few personal items he was allowed, and a red tin can for a toilet. Mandela was sentenced to life in prison, and it must have crossed his mind many times that he might never get out. And yet, when he finally emerged from prison in 1990, after 27 years, he was somehow stronger and wiser. I had the good fortune to spend an evening last summer with a man who’d been in prison with Mandela from 1964-1971. When I asked what Mandela was like, he said that when Mandela walked into a room, he radiated a moral force, so that every head turned towards him and acknowledged him as the leader. Mandela is as important to world history as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he fought a very similar fight as Dr. King to create justice and equality for non-whites in South Africa. And while we mourn his passing, there is much to celebrate, and I’d like to encourage each of you to find out about this great man and to learn from his example.