Waltham Mayor: Public Works Director Asked for 2-Hour School Delay
Some Waltham schools released students early today.
Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy said she believes the Waltham Public Schools should have had a 2-hour delay on Friday, March 8 instead of opening the schools at their regular time.
McCarthy spoke to Waltham Patch in the wake of Patch readers saying the district should not have held school.
Classes began at their normal time, but most students were later released early.
According to McCarthy, Consolidated Public Works Director Michael Chiasson requested the schools have a two-hour delay. Under that request, the building would open at 6 a.m. However, Waltham Public Schools Superintendent Susan Nicholson decided to open the buildings at their normal time, McCarthy said.
“The superintendent has to make the decision by 5 a.m.,” McCarthy said adding the choice must be made early enough to accommodate staff that live in other communities. McCarthy also said the decision has to be made in time for a reverse 911 phone message to be sent to the community.
Approximately 403 high school students did not attend school today, according to a person that works in the school.
McCarthy noted that when she awoke at 4 a.m. and checked weather conditions, “it wasn’t that bad,” and the forecast indicated the snow would end by mid-morning. However, she said, the storm worsened as students remained in classes.
Neither Nicholson nor Chiasson could be reached for comment.