Newington Supt. Defends Decision to Keep Schools Open - NBC Connecticut

Newington Supt. Defends Decision to Keep Schools Open

Mixed Reactions to Keeping Newington Schools Open

(Published Friday, Feb. 5, 2016)

While many schools across Connecticut are closed because of snow, Newington schools are open today and several parents and students are not happy about it.

Supt. Dr. William Collins said he stands by the decision to open schools, saying roads are fine, students are safe and people will be happy with him in June for not canceling school now.

“It’s winter. It’s a lovely day. The roads are fine. We talked to the highway superintendent this morning. It was 56 degrees yesterday. The roads have had no issues,” he said.

Some people who identified themselves as Newington students reached out to NBC Connecticut and said the power has gone on and off at school and parents who were dropping their children off had mixed reviews.

Newington Superintendent Says There Were No Issues

[HAR] Newington Superintendent Says There Were No Issues
(Published Friday, Feb. 5, 2016)

Some said the roads are fine, while others said major routes of OK, but side roads are not.

When asked why other schools canceled for the day, but not Newington, Collins said “peer pressure.”

“We subscribe to the weather center and they clearly said we should be having school today. There’s no reason to cancel, so they all started caving, one after the other this morning,” Collins said.

Collins said Newington has its own buses and the only issues included one bus was late getting to the middle school and one was possibly late getting to elementary school, but those were the only issues.

“The buses had absolutely no trouble this morning at all,” he said.

Collins said bus drivers were also told to pick up any walkers they saw along the route.

“It’s winter in New England, why wouldn’t we open,” Collins said.

Schools nearby in Wethersfield are closed today and Super. Michael Emmett said he looks at the advanced forecast before making the decisions about closing school or keeping it open.

This morning, he saw the conditions were going to be worse and added that the town does not have its own buses.

“Certainly, for us, we look at safety for staff and students,” he said. “We did talk with other superintendents this morning and I do take that into consideration, but my first factor is safety for staff and students.”