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Parents should be prepared for alternate childcare on school snow days

Dec 11, 2019 05:56AM ● By Lisa Redmond

Superintendent of Schools Steven Stone

DRACUT – For every parent who must scramble for childcare during in the morning on snow days, School Superintendent Steven Stone said making “the call’’ for a snow day can change like the New England weather.

“The worst thing I can do is to cancel school and its sunny at 10 a.m.,’’ Stone told the School Committee this week.

He added that the last couple of storms “I was able to make the call (to close school) the night before that is generally not the way school closures are made.’’

Generally, the decision for a snow day is made by Stone at 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. after consulting with officials about the condition of the roads and reviewing weather service reports. If the weather reports are ambiguous, Stone said he waits to make “the call.’’

And while “everyone was thrilled having an extended Thanksgiving break’’ due to a snowstorm, Stone said every snow day creates the risk of pushing back the last day of school in June or forfeiting the April vacation as was done several years ago.

If there is one or two more snow days before Christmas break, Stone warned the spring vacation may be at risk.

School Committee member Sabrina Heisey suggested Stone notify parents that he won’t be making a snow day the night before. Stone said that as a parent he understands the stress of arranging last-minute childcare, but he is cautious of issuing too many messages to avoid confusing people.

The last day of school is currently scheduled for June 19, 2020.

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