WJ faces harsh winter cold in new year


Beatriz Olivares

In the time period from Christmas to the start of the New Year, the D.C. area has experienced one of the coldest stretches in recent history. The cold chill started with temperatures ranging from as high as 20 degrees Fahrenheit to as low as 12 degrees Fahrenheit. Around the New Year, temperatures dropped from around a high of 20 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of -12 degrees Fahrenheit.

   These freezing weather conditions were considered very dangerous for students as they traveled to school. Students had to walk to school in single digit temperatures, buses and cars had difficulty getting to their destinations safely and pedestrians especially were in danger of slipping on ice that froze over from the night before.

 “On those days, I usually find it too cold to even listen to music because I don’t want to take my hands out of my gloves. It’s frustrating that some people who don’t have the resources to stay out of the cold have to deal with numbness and the risk of getting sick to get to school on time,” junior Janie Trombley said.

   Before school, junior Andre Bhandoola found himself walking around and had a close encounter with a vehicle having trouble driving on the icy roads.

   “When we had the two hour delay [on Tuesday, January 9] with sheets of ice everywhere, I was walking around when someone got in their car on a hill. Once they turned it on, the wheels turned and it just started skidding down towards me,” Bhandools said.

   On Thursday, January 4, school was cancelled due to snow and ice. MCPS held a two-hour delay on Friday, January 5 and Tuesday, January 9 in fear students would catch hypothermia walking to school in low temperatures. On Monday, January 8, MCPS held an early release due to inclement weather conditions of freezing rain which occurred around 1:00 P.M.that day. And after a few days of what seemed like a warmth breakthrough, temperatures plummeted again starting Monday, January 15 and on Wednesday, January 17 schools were cancelled due to unsafe road conditions that affected school transportation.

   Because of the consistent delays, weather hazards and federal holidays, MCPS hasn’t had a full week of school or a normal schedule time for about three weeks. With students being given extensions on projects and tests dates being pushed back, it’s messing up teacher’s schedules. Teachers are going to have to cram more tests and quizzes in a fewer amount of time.

   “Last week I had five tests in one day. They were all supposed to be the wek before and all spread out [within that week]. I hated it and I was so tired when i got home,” freshman Zoe Warren said.

   Most students enjoy escaping from this cold weather by staying in the warmth of their homes and bundling up in winter gear. However, not all families have that same privilege. Students can share the warmth this winter with families and people in need by donating new or used coats, sweaters, gloves, hats and scarfs for the Winter Clothing drive. Donation bins can be found by the main office.