Message for Concerned Parents Re Friday's School Reopening

Public schools will operate on a regular schedule tomorrow as students return to school.

Updated Thursday 5 p.m.

Stratford Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester said in an email to Stratford Patch that the board is getting phone calls from parents concerned about tomorrow's reopening of school.

Forrester advised, "As always parents should make their own decisions regarding school attendance, especially if they have safety concerns that have not yet been addressed by public works and/or the highway department. The district would be completely understanding."


Our original report follows.

Before Stratford students begin February vacation next week, they'll have to report to school one more time on Friday, Feb. 15.

The Stratford Board of Education just announced on its website that Stratford public schools will operate on a regular schedule tomorrow, for the first time since Thursday last week.

In an email to Stratford Patch Thursday, Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester said the district's bus company, Durham School Bus, has compiled "a list of problem areas" that has been forwarded to public works.

"We have been assured that they will all be addressed throughout the evening and into the early morning hours," Forrester told Patch. "As such we are reopening schools tomorrow in an effort to try and not further use inclement weather days which have been depleted by both Hurricane Sandy and Blizzard Nemo."

Forrester continued, "While I can understand that there will be some anxiousness by our decision I assure you that the Board [of Education] feels that it is important for our students to at least get in tomorrow so that they can catch up and be given assignments as needed which can be issued and completed over the coming break next week."

"We continue to review other options to further insured that our district meets the 180 school day requirement as established by state statute. On behalf of the board I wish to personally thank the mayor and his staff for so quickly allocating the resources needed to make this opening happen and for working so closely with our superintendent to make this a reality," Forrester said.

"It has been a long a difficult few days for everyone concerned and I hope that we can soon return to a more normal way of life and continue the education of our children."

David Ocame February 14, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Yeah? Just how are they going to make up the days they missed? It seems to me they've already HAD Feb vacation!
Monica February 14, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Why was April vacation dropped before February vacation? Other towns started taking days away from February and then moved on to April which makes total sense. Once Nemo came many towns had meetings and decided to reinstate school for next week. Our kids have been home for one week already and do not need to be home for 2 weeks in a row. I would much rather my kids have off for April anyway. What is the point of a February vacation when the kids get off a week in December into January. This decision is absolutely ridiculous!
OpportunistWatch February 14, 2013 at 09:17 PM
It seems the board gets there huge salaries either way so having less schooling with pay makes the most sense. Less work same pay and our children suffer an even worse education. I would rather see the complaints be lodged against the BOE's decision to deny our children the education we pay for and what the state requires. 180 days of schooling that is not extended into a hot mid summer classroom. The overpaid BOE don't want to cancel their vacation plans or airline tickets rather let the children suffer by extending their schooling in the hot summer months. Sad
Tommy MacKay February 14, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Less likely to snow in April than next week. In fact we already have snow in the forecast for next week. So it would be useless if they took away Feb vacation just to have to close for weather.
Tommy MacKay February 14, 2013 at 09:30 PM
It wasn't the BOE responsibility to plan and execute proper emergency management of the roads in Stratford. That would be the 'huge salaried' Mayor's job. And nobody's children are being denied an education. That's very weak..
SR February 14, 2013 at 09:59 PM
The real travesty is being denied garbage pickup for a week! My taxes pay for that! My garbage can is being denied its day to stand and get sun by the curb! I hope they plan to make up those garbage pickup days! And not during the hot summer time, those poor cans! I call for double, nay, triple pickups next week!!
SR February 14, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I'm sorry, but these arguments are asinine. I think it's all been spelled out pretty clearly these past few days. Historic storm, difficult cleanup efforts, April break is gone and the timing was unfortunate right before February recess. A school system is more complicated than just opening school doors. Mr Forrester said it would not be possible to have all elements of the system working on such short notice. Food needs to be ordered and delivered, buses need to be driven and staffed and, frankly, the BOE likely saves a lot of money to not have to heat all those buildings for a week. I'm sure the process will be reevaluated for future years, but snap decisions cannot be made with something as large as this. It's an unprecedented occurrence. The students will get their 180 days (or maybe even 182) and be fully educated so they, too, can grow up one day to have ridiculous arguments on Stratford Patch.
Tommy MacKay February 14, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Do like!
Tommy MacKay February 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM
There are many sidewalks, crosswalks and intersections that are still unsafe & inaccessible. I just posted a quite a few pictures of the conditions. Unfortunately there are some students who do not have the luxury of getting a ride or catching a bus to school. And those waiting for buses will be waiting in the road. Mr. Forester released a statement saying the district will be lenient on absences tomorrow. So the day will count -but I'd be surprised if the schools had even 50% attendance!
Matt February 14, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Not sure what you mean by BOE. If you are referring to the board, they do not receive salaries. If you are referring to the employees such as teachers and administrators, they will work the number of days they are contracted for whether children are there or not, so they will be there "suffering" in the hot summer months too. The only paid employee that makes a decision regarding whether schools are opened or not is the superintendent, in consultation with other elected and paid "town" officials. So to say school "overpaid BOE don't want to cancel their vacation plans or airline tickets" (good English skills by the way) is just ignorant.
Patricia Clark Sperling February 15, 2013 at 01:33 AM
OW ~ if the Town (DPW Head and Mayor) had a better clean-up plan set (and we both know where I stand on that issue), perhaps our children would have been back in school by Wednesday at the latest. No member of the Board is paid. I just want to say that I think the BOE is very, very lucky to have an Interim Superintendent as remarkable as Margaret Lasek. I do hope she defers her retirement and stays a while with us, after Dr. Cornish, she is exactly the ray of sunshine and leadership our BOE and our children need.
Mary Ann Jackson February 15, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Tommy I agree with you. We drove by a lot of sidewalks and corners with mounds of snow where are the kids have no choice but to stand in the road. TOTALLY UNSAFE FOR OUR CHILDREN. And the thing about the absence you know they are going to count. Why is it we always follow Bridgeport and Milford for closings and delays but not this time.
Jennifer Hoben February 15, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Sad to see everyone still so upset...maybe we should use some of this time taking a yoga class now that we are all dug out. It always makes me feel better
Fred Silvestro February 15, 2013 at 09:15 AM
. It takes the Board of Education to mess up a little bit more it wants to become partners. Whoever ran the storm if one child gets hit by a car the Board of Education leader should get fired this nowhere to stand on corners because that's where the town of Stratford dumped all the snow from the road so getting near a bus stop is almost impossible most sidewalks are not done so you have to walk in the road where the cars are flying by you. Yes between the public works director and head of the Board of Education. You should both go back to safety school.
PMK February 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Please use commen sense when picking and dropping your kids off at school.I am speaking of Chapel and Flood Middle School. If there is a NO PARKING SIGN along the street, there is a reason for it. Use the side streets to park. Otherwise, due to the amount of snow on the sides of Chapel Street and the obstructive views of th road, someone is gonna get struck by a vehicle. Kruger Lane is a safer bet to park your vehicles.
Meghan February 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM
PMK I am not looking forward to Chapel drop off and pick up today lol that flood loop is going to be wild.. I might dismiss them early.
Kerry Newcomb February 15, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Ha ha, SR!
Mike February 15, 2013 at 03:28 PM
You want to know how I found out there is school on Friday? I saw school busses Friday morning. I remember seeing in the paper that Stratford schools were to be closed on friday. It would have been nice if the Stratford Board of Ed could find a way to tell us when schools are open, and when they are not. Better yet, tell us, and then don't do something different.
Mike Reynolds February 15, 2013 at 04:09 PM
You obviously are not signed up to the BOE's notification system. I get an email, text, and phone call everytime school is closed or in this case that school would be open on Friday. Don't blame anyone but yourself for not being informed.
Meghan February 15, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Honestly BOE calls every phone and emails my husband and I at both of our emails. Why were you never signed up Mike? That is odd.


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