The weather in the Washington DC Metro area is dangerous this morning - temperatures at best in the single digits, with the wind having wind chills below zero.
If you check the list of school closings, in Virginia the vast majority of the school systems are closed, with several (notably Arlington and Alexandria) only on 2 hour delays.
If you cross the Potomac to the Maryland side, the picture is very different. With the exception of Prince George's and St. Mary's, which are on a two-hour delay, all school systems are opening on time.
I will tell you that when I got out of my car at the high school in which I teach in Northern Anne Arundel County at 6 AM this morning, it was 3 degrees, with the wind a wind chill of 8 below zero.
Our students are due here by 7:17 - the standard start time for all Anne Arundel County High Schools.
We have students who usually walk to school, sometimes for 20 minutes, which in these conditions is risking the possibility of frostbite.
So why are we not at least on a delay, if not closed?
Today is the first of 3 days of High School Assessment testing in Maryland. Even thought there are days for makeups next week, it seems as if Maryland school systems are determined to get those tests in, regardless of the possible risk to students.
Yes, the tests in English, Biology and Algebra are required as a condition of high school graduation.
For some seniors, this is effectively the last chance to meet the graduation requirement by testing before being required to instead go through an alternative process of doing projects to raise their scores.
But that is no excuse, not in my opinion.
Can I prove that is the difference between the pattern here in Maryland versus Virginia, where I live?
No. But Fairfax County, Virginia's largest school system, announced last evening it would be closed.
And Arlington, where I live? When I got in my car at 4:55 this morning it was 8 degrees, 5 degrees warmer than where I teach.
You be the judge.
At least I warned all my students yesterday about layering their clothing,and if walking being sure to cover ears and face with something.