Somewhere in the world pigs are probably flying, because hell has surely frozen over.
In addition to Hell, Moorestown Friends School has also gotten a taste of winter’s frigid fury as storms have dumped 40.6 inches of snow so far on Philadelphia. The winter has also seen 3 new cold-weather records: Philadelphia’s 13° high and 4° low on January 7th were the lowest that date has ever seen and the 16° high on January 22 was a date record as well.
The incessant snow is responsible for a total of 32 hours of school cancelled for MFS through a combination of 2 hour delays, half days, and days off.
The snow adds important decisions to the agenda for Head of School Larry Van Meter, who told WordsWorth that the process is to, “keep a close eye on the weather reports and to stay current on what Lenape and Moorestown public schools are planning to do. The latter is important because over 40 percent of our 700 students are registered to ride on Moorestown and Lenape school buses.” This decision relies on the accuracy of the weather reports as evidenced by the two particularly problematic school days; the full day of January 10th on which freezing rain caused roadway chaos for many on the way to school, and the half day, Tuesday, January 21, when heavy snow caused difficult trips home.
Upper School Director Justin Brandon said his approximately 23-mile trip home on that half day took a startling three-and-a-half hours through the heavy snow and traffic. Although he was at the Haverford School speaking on the morning of the freezing rain, Brandon said, “I heard a lot of stories and got a lot of phone calls that morning. Unfortunately there were a lot of accidents, and it sounds like a lot of cars slid into other things, which was a tough day.”
Additionally, as those who shovel snow at home can imagine, the snow also adds a significant load to the day of the maintenance staff. Physical facilities manager Larry Brandimarto told WordsWorth that the crew begins at 4 AM clearing snow from the Meetinghouse, Robert’s Hall, the Head of School’s house, the thrift shop, and the cemetery in addition to the main campus, using truck plows on the streets and John Deere plows and calcium (a safer for inside the building alternative to rock salt) on the sidewalks.