School calendars suffering after snow days

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — With the recent snowfall totals adding up, school districts all over the region have been reviewing their closing and delay protocols.

Each school district has a designated number of days allotted for potential snow days and officials are carefully planning how to make up lost time without running out of school days.

Dr. Frances Gallo, Superintendent of the Central Falls School Department, said that bad weather is simply unavoidable and that is why strategic planning is necessary.

“Well it’s certainly no one’s fault. Inclement weather is going to happen no matter what.”

According to Dr. Gallo, her district had used four snow days.

Superintendents from nearly 20 other districts said they have used the average of three or four days so far this season. Attleboro and Providence topped the list with five snow days each.

Superintendent Kenneth Sheehan of Attleboro said that safety is the priority when deciding whether or not to close schools.

“We have to remember that we have a large amount of student body members who drive cars to and from school as well,” he said.

When is comes to making the decisions, local superintendents said that they always consult with their public works and police departments.

After the classes have been cancelled a few times, making up school can easily become problematic. State law requires students to attend 180 days of school — without continuing past June 30.

Some districts, like Attleboro and Providence, are considering cutting into February or April vacations. Other districts have discussed utilizing weekends or making days longer.

For now, Central Falls seems to have leeway as far as making up days.

“We’re nudging into the last weeks of June now. We’re doing our best, we think we should be okay,” Dr. Gallo said.

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