Like the weather, reviews on delays and cancellations are mixed

Abby Elias, Staff Writer

Winter is in full swing in Pittsburgh, more specifically Upper St Clair. And with it comes freezing weather, icy roads, and, of course, school delays and cancellations. Though these may come off as blessings to elementary school students, teachers and students at the high school have mixed feelings.

For example, Mrs. Janine Despines, who is not just the Upper St. Clair High School librarian but also an Upper St Clair parent, appreciated cancellations when her children were younger. However, now that her kids are teenagers, when asked if she preferred delays or cancellations she quickly responded, “Delays.”

Other teachers in the school, such as art teacher Ms. Robin Smigel, prefer delays because they do not “push back the (academic) schedule.”

Ms.Smigel, who lives about fifteen minutes away from the school, described her trips to and from work as “annoying” when the weather gets exceptionally bad.

“It depends on the year,” Ms. Smigel said when asked about whether or not she feels the district has a lot of delays and cancellations, “Some years we have a lot.”

USCHS Senior Caroline DeIuliis also talked about delays and cancellations. Unlike the teachers and most of the students at the school, DeIuliis rides the bus to and from school. Even though she, herself, does not have to deal with driving in unpredictable conditions, she does face a few problems in terms of traveling. DeIuliis said, “Standing at the bus stop in the freezing cold” is the worst thing about taking the bus in bad weather.

If anyone feels as if the school district bases its decisions on snow delays and cancellations solely on travel conditions, Mrs. Despines pointed out that sometimes whether or not a delay or cancellation happens is “about if they can get the salt trucks out” and that the school disctrict “talks to other districts,” thus showing that it is not so easy to make such decisions.

To read a letter from superintendent Dr.Patrick O’Toole about the policy governing weather-related delays and cancellations, please go to