PALMER, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Parents of Palmer High School students learned tonight their children won't be able to go back to school for nearly two more weeks.

The high school has been closed since a fire Saturday.

The superintendent said that this has been a busy and difficult last five days, but all decisions have been made with the safety of students in mind.

Dozens of people packed the gymnasium at Pathfinder Vocational Technical High School Wednesday night to find out what's going on with the high school.

Brenda Melnick was there with her two children. She told Western Mass News that she was disappointed at the way school officials have handled things.

"I know they can't let them back in the building, I do understand that point that it's a safety issue, but they should be reassuring the students too," Melnick said.

School officials shared more information with parents and students about Saturday morning's fire and the substantial damage caused by the smoke.

That damage is the reason students may not return until March 25.

"My children are honor students, so for them to be out this long, this is an education that they're now missing. Some other towns have 'blizzard bags' are in effect. Why don't we have something like this so our children can continue their education," Melnick added.

The school superintednet is asking the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to waive three school days. She's also proposing students stay 33 minutes later every day until the end of the school year to make up the lost time.

However, not everyone is on board with the idea, including junior Andrea Sterner.

"That would definitely affect my schedule. I have sports practice for tennis every day after school, I have color guard, I go to the community college to take classes and this is just going to affect my schedule overall," Sterner explained.

As an AP student, Sterner said she's concerned about the long-term effect this fire is going to have on her academics.

"I'm not very happy with it, but I mean what can you do," Sterner noted.

Under the school district's current proposal to the state, April vacation will not be impacted.

School officials also hope to still hold graduation on June 2.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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