MCPS schools close early Sept. 1 due to expected severe weather


Josie Lane

Walt Whitman High School this afternoon. The building closed early today due to expected inclement weather.

By Sonya Rashkovan

All MCPS schools, including the Virtual Academy, closed two and a half hours early today due to expected severe weather. The school district also cancelled all after-school and community-use activities in academic buildings. 

Whitman administrators dismissed students from the school around noon, after fifth period ended. 

Many students, including junior Julie Bravo, said they were glad to arrive home earlier than expected. However, Bravo — who was eating lunch outside with friends while Whitman staff announced the closure over the loudspeakers — initially wasn’t sure whether or not the early departure was taking place. 

“We were all in disbelief at first because we didn’t think that the schools would be closing,” Bravo said. “I was definitely excited since it’s been a long day at school.”

Even though the closure caused the cancellation of Bravo’s field hockey practice for the day, the junior said she didn’t mind since she and her teammates wouldn’t have to play outside in the rain. 

The unanticipated early release came on the third school day of the academic year. Some staff members, like Spanish teacher Michele Traficante, don’t believe the closure will cause major hindrances to students’ learning because many educators aren’t covering a significant amount of material early in the year. 

“Initially, I was definitely a bit shocked because I was not expecting it at all,” Traficante said. “I think we will be fine because it’s going to be easy to quickly go over what I covered with my other classes. It will take some rearrangement of my plans to catch them up, but it’s not a big deal.”

When students left Whitman at noon, rain had yet to arrive at the school. Junior Julie Widra said she didn’t see the point in the early dismissal, since she didn’t expect the weather to become severe. 

“I am not complaining, of course,” Widra said. “But I just don’t think it was necessary to close the schools.”