Was it the Right Call to Close Newton Schools Monday?

Many parents and teachers took to social media Sunday night to express their opinions about Monday's school cancellation in Newton.

After the Friday-Saturday blizzard dumped nearly two feet of snow on Newton, . 

Once the announcement was made, several parents and teachers took to social media to express their opinions on the decision to cancel school. Here's a sampling of what we saw:

@ctanowitz: Wish #Newton schools would give a reason for closing schools in the phone message. Parents aren't happy. Cc: @14thVillage @NewtonMAPatch

@Mr_Martenis: @ctanowitz @NewtonMAPatch #Newton Teachers are frustrated as well.

@dlluce: @Mr_Martenis @ctanowitz @newtonmapatch how about the safety of the children comes first. I think that's the best reason EVER.

@traxbrah: #Newton students are happy @NewtonMAPatch

@MacBlythe: @ctanowitz @14thVillage @NewtonMAPatch Agree... not happy.

According to school officials, the decision to cancel was made due to concerns about narrow roadways and dangers to pedestrians. The city has several instances of "non-continuous sidewalks" that have snow mounds on the corners, forcing pedestrians to walk into the streets at intersections, officials said. 

Not having school Monday will allow the DPW time to get those safety concerns rectified, officials said.

Newton DPW Commissioner Dave Turocy told Newton Patch Sunday evening that crews were out all day Sunday clearing roads, sidewalks, school parking lots and crosswalks. DPW workers were set to resume snow removal Monday morning. 

Newton Public Schools were also closed Friday, Feb. 8.

What do you think? Did Newton school officials make the right call to cancel school Monday? Share your thoughts/opinions in the comments section below. 

Mark Golden February 12, 2013 at 04:22 AM
Without a doubt, keeping the schools closed was the correct decision. The sidewalks that were shoveled were few and far between. Corners were blocked by 5"-6" piles of snow. School lots were not fully cleared, roads where many pedestrians, of all ages were narrow and dangerous. So, the city decided to cancel classes. This is certainly a time for Big Brother (no, I am not referring to late Newton resident Bob Emery), to take action. Today I was in Newton, Brookline, Watertown and Boston.(via the T). No area was ready to have children return to school. Lack of snow clearing by homeowners and businesses was rampant. In Coolidge Corner sidewalks were in horrible condition. I walked by the building that used to contain a store I had owned and was appalled. Cities and towns that have a clear walk ordinance MUST enforce it. These walks should have been done Sunday.
peter February 12, 2013 at 12:49 PM
The kids missed two days school fine but do you all really feel the kids should miss four days of school for a storm like this as there was several days of warning
ck February 12, 2013 at 02:17 PM
It's sad that the school principal had to be outside shoveling this morning. I don't think the question should be was it the right decision to closel school, I think the question is Does the city handle snow removal properly? Fix the underlying problem. Until the snow melts, it's not going to be safe. Close 1 day, 2 days, whatever, it's not going to make a difference if the issues aren't resolved to make it safer.
Melanie Graham February 12, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Hi ck -- That was precisely our question to readers earlier this morning! Feel free to comment here: "How Would You Grade Newton's Plowing During the Blizzard of 2013" : http://patch.com/A-1Q9h
DJ February 12, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Yes, yes and yes to everything you said. Drove my kid to NNHS today and was appalled at houses ON WALNUT STREET who hadn't shoveled their walks, and watching kids just climb snow banks to get to school, fighting alongside cars attempting to park and regular busy morning traffic. Checked out her .5 mile walk from the bus stop (which she normally takes) to our house, and again big stretches of unshoveled walks, narrow roads, completely blocked street corners and such. This is New England, is it not, haven't they figured it out by now? Maybe have extra city workers out patrolling like they would parking spots, fining folks with uncleared walks every day if necessary until they're safe and clear for our residents and our kids.


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