Frigid Winter Weather Prompts Chase to Call Head of School Day

Though the forecast called for cold temperatures, not snow, the announcement of last Friday’s Head of School Day brought a flurry of discussion to campus over the early use of the traditional holiday. Dean of Students Marlys Edwards explained the Academy’s rationale behind the day. “The winter term contains the shortest number of teaching classes and, for term-contained courses, it is difficult to reduce that number even more,” she said. Ms. Edwards said that Mrs. Chase spoke with others to determine if there was a way to delay the start of classes. However, when no delay seemed to work with athletics and a full class schedule, the most logical decision seemed to call a Head of School day. Some students expressed frustration over the lack of ceremony present in the announcement of this year’s Head of School Day, as Mrs. Chase did not raise a hockey stick in Commons to signal the day. “I think everyone has definitely been cheated out of Head of School Day,” Derrick Kuan ’04 said. “No matter who your friends are or what grade you’re in, the excitement of seeing Mrs. Chase walk through Commons with her hockey stick is a unifying experience for the entire school,” he continued. Lower Representative Claire Collery ’06 said, “We only get four Head of School Days the whole time we’re here and they are a major part of student life.” Collery also expressed disappointment over the school’s decision not to allow students to take day excuses away from campus during Head of School day. Mrs. Chase said she understands student’s discontent, saying, “I am sorry about some students’ disappointment over this year’s Head of School Day.” She said, “Sometimes things do not work out as we would wish—especially with things like the weather, which are out of our control. I was certainly disappointed not to have a chance to wield my trusty hockey stick.” Last Friday’s record low temperatures throughout the Northeast prompted 300 schools across Massachusetts to declare a day off from school. “I can’t remember ever closing school for the temperature,” Everett, Mass. Public School Superintendent Frederick Foresteire said.