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Stratford Schools Closed Thursday; No April Break

Board of Education makes final ruling on school closure.

Updated Wednesday 3:20 p.m.

Stratford public schools will be closed Thursday, Feb. 14, according to this message just posted on the Board of Education's website:

In reviewing weather reports suggesting two to five inches of additional snowfall, and having assessed driving and walking conditions to our schools; in the interest of safety, Stratford Public Schools will be closed on Thursday, February 14, 2013.

In addition, there will be no April vacation:

Schools will be in full operation April 15–19, 2013, reads another message on the school board's site. As of this point, the last day of school remains to be determined.

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Updated Wednesday 2:50 p.m.

Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester says it is up to the Board, not the mayor's office, to decide whether or not to open schools in the event of weather conditions that could potentially put students at risk.

Forrester wrote in an email to Stratford Patch that the mayor has the authority to close schools if a state a emergency is declared but the decision to open them is the Board of Education's.

That decision is expected to be announced shortly.

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Updated Wednesday 1 p.m.

There now seems to be some deliberation about whether or not Stratford schools will reopen Thursday.

It appears that the initial decision by the mayor's office to reopen schools -- announced at about 11 a.m. Wednesday -- was made without input from the Stratford Board of Education.

Shortly after an article was published on Stratford Patch about the planned reopening, Stratford Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester emailed Patch the following message:

"Who made this decision because it was not the BOE."

An email to Marc Dillon, the mayor's chief of staff, asking if the town has the right to make a ruling on school openings/closures without consulting school officials was not immediately answered.

But now there is a new message on the Board of Education's website (posted sometime between 12:30 and 1 p.m.):

Information about Thursday, February 14, 2013 will be made available by 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.

So it seems the status of school tomorrow is still up in the air.

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Our original report follows.

Shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday officials announced that Stratford public schoools will reopen Thursday, Feb. 14.

The decision comes five days after a blizzard swept through the area dropping upwards of three feet of snow in Stratford, forcing some residents to remain snowbound up until Tuesday, and closing schools three days this week.

"Please continue to shovel all sidewalks in your area, and continue to check on your neighbors who may be elderly or unable to dig themselves out," Marc Dillon, the mayor's chief of staff, wrote in an email to local media. "Thank you for your patience throughout the blizzard and its aftermath."

David C February 13, 2013 at 04:39 PM
I wouldnt be to sure about this..Remember when "all streets are cleared" comment was made.
Meghan February 13, 2013 at 04:41 PM
lol David, I seriously do not see why they just don't change this week to Feb Vacation. Be lenient next week on the kids who have to miss because of travel plans though.
Margie February 13, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Glad to get those days in and not have to make them up later but there are mountains of snow on all of the street corners where children either have to cross the roads or wait for busses. Homeowners cannot possibly shovel what the plows have put there. This is truely a safety concern!
Meghan February 13, 2013 at 04:49 PM
i agree Margie, I want them to go back, They need to, but honestly I am concerned about the safety of the children. I will drive my kids but I am so worried about not seeing a kid around a snow bank or something while on the road. Plus having to BLAST out of my driveway, with no visibility from the giant snow banks scares me, but last night we got plowed in and the mound froze so I have been chipping and salting that all day now.
Sarah Scalzo February 13, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Looking for information about how the school days will be made up. Not sure why parents are not beIng giving this information or more importantly why this is not figured out long before the school year has started and should be public information. There should absolutely be a reliable plan on place for extreme weather years, seeing as this seems to be the new normal.
Jennifer Kepchar February 13, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Sarah- this was figured out before school started. It's on the calendar. We're making up 5 days in April and the rest in June.
Darlene February 13, 2013 at 05:13 PM
@ Sarah http://www.stratfordk12.org/images/customer-files/BoardofEducation/2012.2013Calendar.pdf This is the link where the school/calendar plan is posted. It's on the Stratfordk12.org website under calendars.
Jason Bagley (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 05:49 PM
I have added a user-submitted photo to the gallery above with the caption: Stratford plows at the junction of Nichols avenue and Ann terrace have decided not to take pedestrian safety seriously and have dumped this iceberg in a previously cleared sidewalk. When contacted they refused to take responsibility or help. (caption comes from resident)
Theresa February 13, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Officials, not the BOE and Superintendent, said schools will be open tomorrow. Check with the official www.stratfordk12.org webpage....NOT what you hear from the mayor's office.
Chris Stevens February 13, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Contractually this can not happen, teachers are union employees and have a contract that stipulates holidays, vacations days, etc.....its just not that easy, what about all the teachers that have made plans? should they just forgo them? Should the town reimburse them for their travel plans? Vacations? Plane fare? Come on really? And its not only the teachers but administrators, custodial staff, bus drivers etc etc etc......
Meghan February 13, 2013 at 06:17 PM
I know Chris, we made travel plans too, I feel that pain, but you can't control mother nature, and we are all screaming to the mayor to do better than he did, but what is done is done, the town was not handled properly in this storm, now we need a solution. I would rather they just waive the days but I doubt they will agree to that. I don't want it taken away, I just think it is the most logical solution.
DeeAnn Req February 13, 2013 at 06:31 PM
according to Stratford BOE website descion regrading Thursday wil be made around 3pm today
Laura February 13, 2013 at 06:54 PM
With the strange weather we have been getting the last few years I think the BOE might need to consider starting the school year 2 weeks earlier. Maybe then they wouldn't have to worry about trying to sqeeze make up days in before June 30th.
Meghan February 13, 2013 at 07:26 PM
i just saw a pic of my childrens school, BURIED, and knowing that DH drove by Franklin school and that is also untouched, I can only assume all schools are in the same state of buriedness, I would be shocked if they have cleared the roofs and checked them over. I really don't see how our kids are going to go to school tomorrow.
Walt February 13, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Nobody's clearing any roofs, they're fine. The schools will all be plowed by tonight, and I don't understand everybody's need to vacation during the year. I hope all these kids become teachers otherwise they'll have to work just to get a few weeks vacation a year.
Kathy February 13, 2013 at 08:17 PM
just posted on BOE website: In reviewing weather reports suggesting two to five inches of additional snowfall, and having assessed driving and walking conditions to our schools; in the interest of safety, Stratford Public Schools will be closed on Thursday, February 14, 2013.
susan chantlos February 13, 2013 at 08:18 PM
No school tomorrow (Thursday) per BOE website
Matt Kascak February 13, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Wow! Harkins and Dillon really are incompetent when it comes to communication skills. And really.... does Mr. Dillon really expect residents to shovel sidewalks? Has he even seen the piles of snow deposited on sidewalks and corners around town? You can't expect residents to shovel paths on sidewalks that have had pay loader size loads of snow dumped that are 6-7 feet high and and bigger in width, and then melted and refrozen so they are like concrete now.
mec1140 February 14, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Amen!

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