Snows days pile up

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Naugatuck High School students make their way down a crowded Rubber Avenue on snow and ice covered sidewalks after school Feb. 12. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Naugatuck High School students make their way down a crowded Rubber Avenue on snow and ice covered sidewalks after school Feb. 12. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Snow days are adding up in Naugatuck and Region 16.

As of Monday, Naugatuck public schools had used seven snow days. Region 16, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, had six days canceled due to snow. The last day of school in both districts is scheduled for June 23.

The school year will not go beyond June 26 in Region 16, Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said. This leaves three more cancelations before the region begins to take away days from April vacation, which is the week of April 13.

The Naugatuck school district has some more leeway before April vacation, which is the week of April 13 as well, begins to melt away.

Naugatuck Superintendent of Schools Sharon Locke said the district will only take away days from April break as a last resort. The school year in the borough will be extended to June 30 before vacation days are taken, she said, which gives the district five more days to use.

Legally, the school year can’t go beyond June 30.

Student safety is the number one priority when the decision is made to cancel school, have a delay or an early dismissal, Locke said.

She explained Naugatuck and other area school districts share the cost of a meteorologist to track storms and keep officials up to date. School officials also confer with the Naugatuck Department of Public Works and the Naugatuck Police Department about the road conditions.

In addition to the road conditions, the district also considers the conditions of the sidewalks, how safe it is for students who walk and the sightlines at bus stops.

“When and if we make a decision, all of those factors come into play. None of the decisions are ever made lightly without thought and collaboration,” Locke said.