Local school districts running out of snow days

(Western Mass News photo / File)

The potential for more snow in the forecast could mean more snow days for local school districts.

Springfield Public Schools, for example, have used five of their five alotted days.

If there's another snow day, some schools may have to add on days at the end of the school year. Two nor'easters in less than a week meant no school for a lot of students in western Massachusetts.

Todd Gazda, Superintendent of Ludlow Public Schools, told Western Mass News snowy forecasts create anxiety for superintendents. "These are challenging decisions for superintendents and we don't take them lightly. We are up at 4 in the morning looking at multiple weather sites, talking to each other," said Gazda. So far this school year, Ludlow has canceled six days of school.

On two of those days, students went home with 'blizzard bags.'

That's a popular new trend among local school districts, where teachers will send students home with assignments to do during a snow day.

The benefit being that students won't have to make up that day of school at the end of the year. "They are more than your traditional homework assignment," Gazda added. Ludlow isn't the only district using blizzard bags.

They're popular in Gateway Regional School District and Westfield Public Schools has also discussed using them.

Many school districts are at their maximum alotted snow days, or almost there from Chicopee to Agawam. "We make the best decision that we can at the time. Sometimes we get it wrong. There's no getting around that. We tend to err on the side of caution to ensure the safety of our students," Gazda noted. For now, school districts across the region and in Ludlow will have to wait to see what the forecast will be for the rest of the school year before they can decide what they'll do if they go over those allotted days.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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