Snow days aren't eating into NH school vacation
On Birches Road in Surgar Hill, the snow was piled deep enough to excavate a snow cave. (Mickey de Rham Photo)
The magic number is 5
Superintendent Phil Littlefield of SAU 15, which serves Auburn, Candia and Hooksett, said the average number of days missed due to weather in his districts is five, which is exactly the number of snow days used thus far this year.
Paul Dargie, chair of the Milford School District, said five days of snow is typical for his district. But Ormand said SAU 2 encompasses towns in three counties; snow day use varies.
"SAU 16 usually has an average of five snow/weather related days per school year," Superintendent Mike Morgan said. "So far, we have had four."
And what happens next is anyone's guess, said Littlefield.
"We could come back from February vacation to spring or another month of winter," he said. "You have to love New England."
Dr. Judy Fillion of the New Hampshire Department of Education said there are options in place for school districts if storms continue to bear down on the state.
Some districts have opted to use a "blizzard bag" program. Relying on the Internet, teachers can assign work, answer questions, and keep their lesson plans flowing. Students who don't have access to the Internet can be given paper assignments.
Measured in hours
In Milford, Dargie said the schools follow a 180-day calendar with an additional 10 days worked in for weather-related closings. The calendar far exceeds the minimum number of hours required by the state, which can come in handy if snow, or in some years, flooding, closes schools. If the district still has plenty of hours and snow days left, the school board can actually vote to end the school year early. Last year, the board was able to eliminate the last day of school — a half-day that fell on a Monday.
"We are in good shape for just another New Hampshire winter," Morgan said.
In Pittsfield, Superintendent John Freeman said missed days are tacked onto the end of the year.
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