Region 16 heading back to school

Eric Figueroa and Jonathan Morreno of Green Construction work to shovel a 5-foot snowdrift from the top of Community School in Prospect Monday. 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. –RA ARCHIVE

Eric Figueroa and Jonathan Morreno of Green Construction work to shovel a 5-foot snowdrift from the top of Community School in Prospect Monday. Schools in Region 16, which serves Prospect and Beacon Falls, will open again Thursday. –RA ARCHIVE

REGION 16 — Schools bells will be ringing again Thursday in Beacon Falls and Prospect as Region 16 students head back to school following this weekend’s blizzard.

Region 16 schools have been closed since Friday when a blizzard dumped about 3 feet of snow on the area. The biggest issue facing the schools was getting the streets and sidewalks in the towns clean enough for students to either walk to school or wait at a bus stop. In neighboring Naugatuck school has been canceled for the rest of the week as the cleanup from the storm continues.

Region 16 students will be off again Friday and Monday, which were originally scheduled days off for the region’s winter break.

Superintendent of Schools Tim James said school officials were considering having school on Friday to make up a day, but were unable to secure enough teachers on short notice as Friday was already a scheduled vacation day.

James said the schools are ready to go and the district’s bus company, All Star Transportation, went around the towns to make sure there was enough room for buses. He asked parents to exercise caution as some driveways and intersections still have high piles of snow.

James said officials will explore a number of options to make up the days including reducing the school year from 181 days to 180 or making a scheduled parent-teacher conference day on April 1, which is a scheduled day off, a half day.

“We’re trying not to go near April vacation,” he said.

James said a decision on how to make up the days is likely to come at the Board of Education’s first meeting in March in order to see how the next several weeks of winter play out.

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