WESTPORT, Conn. -- The recent snowstorms have shut down towns, roads and schools over the last week-and-a-half, but Westport schools are in good shape moving forward, according to Board of Education Chairman Michael Gordon.
“Our school calendar allots for five snow days, and so far this year we've taken two,” Gordon said in an email Tuesday. “In my three years on the board, we have used every snow day allotted.”
Many school districts in the area add days to the school year after using more than the allotted amount of snow days set at the beginning of the school year. But in recent years, the Westport School District has changed its policy to subtract days from the April break in case of such an event.
“Should we exceed five days, which happened last year, it cuts into our April break. Last year, we had six snow days ... so we lost one day of April break,” Gordon said.
The spring break for Westport’s public schools runs from April 13 to April 17.
It would “be hard to speculate” what the district would do if Mother Nature forced Westport schools to use five or more snow days, which would cancel the entire April break, Gordon said.
“It's something we haven't faced since we changed our policy to five snow days and then drawing on April break,” he said.
Although snow remains in the forecast for this week and next, Westport isn’t making any plans to use another snow day just yet.
According to Gordon, the call to cancel school is made by Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon, based on safety needs of not only students, but also of teachers and staff who travel up to an hour to work each day.
For now, Westport schools will remain optimistic for the rest of the winter, according to Gordon.
“Hopefully Mother Nature will show some sympathy for the balance of winter,” he said.
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