When snowflakes fly kids across the state cross their fingers and hope for a day home from school full of sledding and snowmen but are snow days more common now than before? Some Connecticut residents say yes.
“I remember when I was a kid the school bus sliding sideways and getting stuck going up hills,” Justin Lis of Middletown said. “I think they certainly use a little more caution when they’re going to close school.” Lis says he thinks that’s a good thing.
Granby Public Schools superintendent Alan Addley agrees.
“When in doubt you err on the side of safety,” Addley said.
Addley starts the snow day decision process the day before the predicted snowfall.
“The process really starts the night before when we watch the 11 p.m. news to see what’s coming next and we get up in the next morning at 4:30 to watch Bob Maxon,” he said.
Addley also speaks with the Granby Police Department, the public works department, the bus company, and surrounding superintendents to get an idea of road conditions across his town – especially in some of the higher elevations that can ice up more quickly.
“Ultimately snow days are canceled because of bus transportation when the buses aren’t safe on the roads,” Addley said.
Are there too many snow days? Addley says he doesn’t think so, but during a winter with huge storms or a fall with a hurricane, the days can pile up quickly.
“In Connecticut we don’t have year round schooling. Standardized tests are in the March/April window and Advanced Placement tests in the May/June. When the days accumulate it can becoming a preparation issue for the kids,” Addley said.
Even though an excessive number of days can be an issue, Addley says parents shouldn’t be worried.
“I don’t think a day off here or there is a bad thing where they make their own fun and memories. If all else fails, they can certainly read a book with a cup of hot chocolate. That’s not a bad thing,” Addley said.