Officials weigh several factors when it comes to canceling, dela - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials weigh several factors when it comes to canceling, delaying school

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School officials weigh several factors when it comes to canceling or delaying school (WFSB) School officials weigh several factors when it comes to canceling or delaying school (WFSB)
SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

Many students and their parents are keeping an eye on Channel 3 and the app, looking for school cancellations and delays ahead of Winter Storm Clare.

The big question before a snow storm for school superintendents is whether to close school, delay, or let out early.

That’s a question superintendents will ponder sometimes for days, and it's such a big decision because it affects the safety of families and their schedules for the entire year.

Superintendent of Southington schools, Tim Connellan says safety is the number one priority.

"We have students taking buses, we have students driving sometimes we have parents driving students to school, we have staff members driving in so it's all about trying to make people safe,” Connellan said.

To do that, superintendents keep track of the storm.

“I, as many of my other colleagues are, am up around 4 a.m.,” he said, adding that he calls police, the public works department, and the town manager to get a gauge on the roads.

“Then I have two separate conference calls. One happens around 4:40 a.m. And that's a pretty broad group of superintendents. And then around 10 of 5 a.m., I have another conference call with a group of superintendents that is more closely clustered,” Connellan said.

Southington public schools have had two snow days so far this year, as several other school districts have had.

“In this district, we'll lose every day in June that we have to right up until the last business day or the last day of the fiscal year, which I believe for us is the 29th,” Connellan said.

So, for every snow day there is a day tacked on at the end of the year. That's because the state makes it mandatory to have a 180-day school year.

“If for some reason we used all of those days we would be forced to use days from the April vacation which is not something anyone wants to do. Now there are a lot of days left of June so I’m hoping we don't have that many snow days,” Connellan said.

Some school districts have caps. For instance, if Vernon kids go over nine snow days, it will start cutting into April vacation. 

Others, if it gets to that point it will be discussed with board members.

Many will be making the decision early in the morning.

You can always find delays, closures and early dismissals on the Channel 3 app here.

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