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Early Dismissal for Local Schools as Major Snowstorm Approaches

Districts take early precaution as blizzard-like conditions are expected to hit the region.

With the forecasted potential of close to 10 inches of snow being dumped on the area between Thursday and Friday, area schools are taking precautions by dismissing students early.

All Washington Township schools and both high school buildings in the West Morris Regional School District are shutting their doors early Thursday, as the storm is expected to begin bringing precipitation around 1 p.m.

West Morris Central students will be dismissed at 11:44 a.m., and the five township school buildings will be released in a staggered method. See those times here

Near-blizzard conditions are expected in the area and the National Weather Service is predicting between six and 10 inches of snow in the northern New Jersey area. 

Wind gusts could reach 35 miles per hour and temperatures could dip below zero through Friday. Find out more here. 
Sue Underwood January 02, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Once again I see the school district sent the students home hours before the storm even arrives near the state. For heaven's sake folks, the main storm isn't due to get here until evening tonight and the heavy accumulation and strong winds aren't coming until late tonight and all day tomorrow. Just more hysterical decision making - they must be related to the folks racing to Shop Rite to prepare for THE STORM ! For heavens sake people, it's January - we get snow... tomorrow send your kids out to shovel and all will be well by Saturday morning.
Kelly January 02, 2014 at 05:58 PM
I must agree....no reason for early dismissal today.....will we ever make up this lost time?????
12345678 January 02, 2014 at 06:04 PM
Better safe than sorry. Last time they did not dismiss early and a lot of high school kids drove home under terrible conditions. Many weather outlets were calling for snow as early as 1pm.
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 07:03 AM
Sue and Kelly were right. But better safe than sorry. Still counts for full day and all kids safe. Very unpredictable roads in Long Valley. (WTR)
Hookerman January 03, 2014 at 08:42 AM
Yeah, we'll leave it to the professionals, and our kids will end up missing their spring break or going to school until July because those same professionals close the school at the drop of a hat. When I was young, except for the most severe storms, the schools stayed open when it snowed. They put chains on the buses, the kids bundled up, and school was in session. Nowadays, God forbid the kids should be in school if any snow at all is falling... if there's any threat at all, close the schools because it's better to be safe than sorry. We've had such mild winters lately that we forget, it's supposed to snow during the winter. And the current winter is exactly 2 weeks old, so we have a whole lot of it left. By my measurement, we've gotten just under 6 inches here on the mountain. That's certainly a significant snowstorm, but not the Armageddon-like event that the talking heads were all harping about, that sent hordes of people to Costco and Walmart stocking up on supplies as if they'll be snowbound for weeks. We need a little sanity and common sense here.
Kelly January 03, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Hookerman, I agree. Instructional hours lost due to early dismissals need to be made up in order to properly serve the children. Kevin N., the last sentence of your first post is a closed-minded assumption. I pity your ignorance.
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 12:29 PM
I agree Kelly and Hookerman.
Hookerman January 03, 2014 at 01:14 PM
Three hours here and three hours there adds up, and when you are a teacher who has to cram a whole semester's curriculum into a couple months, it can certainly adversely affect your instructional plan. My kids have attended Washington Twp schools for many years, and I can't count the number of times the schools have called for an early dismissal when not one flake of snow had yet fallen. The busses don't melt if snowflakes hit them!
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 01:16 PM
Kelly I understand your point. When my kids were in school half day was "Movie Time". Everyday is important. One year about 10 years ago one of my children had a large number of half days( some scheduled, some not) and THEY were 2 chapters short of finishing one book at the end of year. WTR
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) January 03, 2014 at 01:41 PM
While I wish our system prevented users from commenting under pseudonyms, it does not, and it's something we have to deal with. That being said, when addressing another reader, please do so by their handle seen on this site and not one you assume is their name. If this continues, I'll delete comments that violate this. Thanks!
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 02:11 PM
Kelly and Sue one of the other reasons for the quick calls is the large amount of 2 parent working families . Just a fact in our society today so parents can make arrangements. I'll sound old but 4 or 6 inches of snow never would have been cause for a state of emergency years ago. Think of all the 4 wheel drive vehicles now!
Hookerman January 03, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Kevin, the governor didn't declare a state of emergency until well after the dismisal, and the storm warning did not take effect until 6:00 PM last night.
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 04:32 PM
Excellent point Hookerman. As others have pointed out this time it was the wrong call. Snow started much later. You win some you lose some.
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 05:51 PM
I agree with Sue and Kelly. The superintendent took information he was given early in the day a made a decision. He knows many parents both work and have to make arrangements for kids. In this case the storm started much later then he was told. Based on the facts his early decision was wrong. Is it the end of the world no. It might happen the other way some day. Different people have different opinions happens everyday
12345678 January 03, 2014 at 06:04 PM
I personally would prefer the "wrong" decision be made where my children's safety is concerned. Imagine if there wasn't an early dismissal and the snow did begin at 1pm as was being reported. It's a shame some working parents think the superintendent should sacrifice the safety of all township children for their "convenience". They can learn and read at home too...
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 06:17 PM
And that's your opinion! Perfect
Bill Hanson January 03, 2014 at 06:49 PM
Interesting opinion!

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