Naugatuck, Region 16 schools closed on Wednesday
The unexpected vacation for Naugatuck and Region 16 students will continue at least one more day.
Naugatuck schools will be closed on Wednesday, Naugatuck Mayor Robert Mezzo announced.
“We still have much work to do to return our roads, streets and neighborhoods to as normal as possible given the amount of snow, and create safe conditions for buses and bus stops,” Mezzo wrote on his blog.
Schools in Naugatuck and Region 16, which serves Prospect and Beacon Falls, have been closed since Friday when a blizzard dumped about 3 feet of snow in the area.
Naugatuck Superintendent of Schools John Tindall-Gibson said the main concern is the safety of students as they walk to school or wait at a bus stop. He said the blizzard “obliterated” bus stops throughout the borough.
“The biggest issue is getting the town streets plowed out so we can resume busing,” Tindall-Gibson said.
Tindall-Gibson said not all of the schools are plowed out currently, as the town used the school system’s plows to help clear roads. He said there was no structural damage to any of the schools due to the storm and custodians have cleared snow off the roofs.
As far as how the days off will effect the school year, Tindall-Gibson said Naugatuck is in pretty good shape. Due to renovations scheduled to begin at Naugatuck High School later this year, he said the district already had a compressed calendar. He said it is likely students will be in school until the third week of June, which has five weeks this year.
Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Tim James said, in a message to parents, that the decision to close schools Wednesday was made after speaking with Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith and Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield on Tuesday. Region 16 schools are cleared of snow, but the towns are continuing to work on widening the roadways for two lanes of traffic, James said.
“I understand that the extended time of not having school creates a number of issues for many parents but my decision as to whether to open our schools is done in collaboration with our chief elected officials. I respect their judgment and sense their frustration with the snow removal process from this record-breaking blizzard,” James wrote in the message.
The message said the roads in Prospect will be of sufficient width to allow buses to safely travel on them to pick up and drop off students by Wednesday afternoon. It may be Thursday before the roads in Beacon Falls are deemed to be safe enough for buses to travel on, the message read.
A decision on whether to open schools Thursday will be made Wednesday. James said the Region 16 Board of Education will meet soon to discuss how to handle the snow days in regards to the school calendar.