Nothing can put a school leader on thin ice like making the wrong call about a snow day.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña found herself in the hot seat three years ago when she defended the city’s decision to keep schools open as freezing rain and snow pummeled the morning commute. She claimed it “was a beautiful day” and, well, you don’t have to imagine how that played in the New York Post.
Last night, the city played its hand slightly differently, closing schools 12 hours before a single snowflake hit the pavement. (Fariña tweeted that it’s a good day to cozy up to a book.)
But despite the city’s call to close school for its 1.1 million students, Success Academy families weren’t so lucky. Though some of the city’s other charter chains battened down the hatches, Success students and staff trudged through the snow.
That decision has infuriated some parents and educators at the network’s schools. One Brooklyn Success Academy teacher told Chalkbeat that only 30 percent of her school’s students showed up. “It’s a negative atmosphere,” said the teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We have lots of families who have long or difficult commutes. There’s no point in having angry teachers teach unhappy kids.”
And plenty of families took to Twitter to vent. (After this story was published, Success Academy spokeswoman Nicole Sizemore offered this statement: “All 41 Success Academy schools are open today. Our teachers and staff were there to welcome scholars for a day of learning; many of our families have limited or no childcare options and were grateful. We take the safety of our scholars very seriously and respect the decision of families that chose to keep their scholars at home.”)
We realize weather conditions may make your commute less convenient, but the MTA is operating and our schools are open and safe.
— Success Academy (@SuccessCharters) February 9, 2017
@SuccessCharters 10-15 inches of snow!!! Will be a mess trying to pick kids up
— Lydia M (@Lydsnyc) February 9, 2017
.@SuccessCharters EVERY bus line has delays. This will continue all day. You are asking people to put safety and sense second.
— Daniel Katz (@Prof_Katz) February 9, 2017
@SuccessCharters this solidifies my decision to take my son out of Success Academy
— … (@ChopYoHead) February 9, 2017
@SuccessCharters When the Mayor closes public school take a hint. There is no school. This shows me as a parent it’s only about numbers.SMH
— Melissa Johnson LMT (@MelShue) February 9, 2017