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Westport Parents Support Delayed Start

WESTPORT, Conn. – Janine Sahagian's children may have gone to school two days later than expected, but this Westport mother of five said postponing the first day in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene was necessary.

"In fact, I think they should have taken a few more days as a precaution," Sahagian said after she picked up her son James and daughter Julia from Coleytown Elementary School on Thursday afternoon. "The roads were dangerous."

Sahagian said her home's power was restored right before she left to pick her kids up from school. That means her four school-bound children — seventh-grader Anthony, sixth-grader Ava "Bieber," second-grader James and kindergartner Julia — got ready for their first day without it.

"It made things a little difficult this morning," Sahagian said. "Thank God it's back on."

Because the first day of school was postponed from Tuesday to Thursday, the district has already used two of its three built-in cancellation days. This means the district has only one more penalty-free cancellation. After that, days will have to be made up.

For now, Sahagian said she isn't concerned about that because she's confident it will work out in the long run.

Mom Kathy Stark, who was waiting for her son Timothy to be dismissed from Kings Highway Elementary said she also believes the decision to postpone was the right one — even though it cost the district two built-in cancellation days.

"I know some parents were annoyed after hearing that the fire chief ordered the schools to remain closed Wednesday. But you know what, when it comes to the safety of children, you can never be too cautious," said Stark. He son entered the first grade Thursday. "Let's just hope this winter isn't a repeat of last year's when we got five snow days."

Do you think postponing the first day of school by two days was a good decision? Why or why not?

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