by Jacob Sims Speyer
After four snow days this year, students voiced their curiosity over what would happen if there were more than five snow days.
According to superintendent David Fleishman, “No decision has been made now with what to do.”
The School Committee will decide between either extending the school year or shortening the length of April break with the recommendation of Fleishman. Nevertheless, he said it would be “unusual to have five snow days before February vacation.”
With six snow days in the 2012-13 school year, the last day of school was extended instead of cutting into vacation.
The Massachusetts Department of Education requires all public schools to reschedule days lost to snow. “All days lost to health, weather, or safety emergencies between the first day of the school year and March 31 must be made up by rescheduling full school days to ensure a 180-day school year,” according to its website.
A snow day decision is made regardless of how many exiting snow days there are, according to Fleishman. “It all comes down to safety,” he said. In the event of a second snow day from a single storm, the decision is also made based on the feasibility of transportation to school as well as student safety. Last “Tuesday I was told they were going to have trouble getting buses out of the bus yard,” said Fleishman.
In regard to the timeframe of the cancellation, Fleishman said, “When every forecast has the same prediction of a significant storm, I am inclined to make the decision the night before because I know it is most helpful to families.” However, when forecasts are uncertain or not consistent, the decision is made the morning of.
Correction 11:09 p.m. 2/9: A previous version of this article stated that Fleishman makes the final call regarding extra snow days.