EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 15, 2013

Snow days have piled up this year

Most districts will end June 20

With one snowstorm after another, it’s been a winter some people would rather forget.

Except for schoolchildren.

Falling snow and slippery roads have meant five snow days for most Southern New Hampshire schools this winter — and it’s only mid-March. Derry has missed six days.

While students might enjoy an unexpected day off during the winter, that joy will be distilled in June. Many schools already have pushed back the last day of school an extra week in June.

Local school officials are optimistic the last day won’t be pushed back much further. So far, graduation dates have not been affected.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” Salem school Superintendent Michael Delahanty said yesterday.

In many districts, the final day has been moved from June 13 to June 20 as cancellations piled up with the snow.

Students are required to attend school 180 days per year, and local superintendents said there are three to five cancellations in a typical year.

Salem has canceled four days of school so far this year, Delahanty said. He will ask the School Board on Tuesday for approval to make up one of the missed days by having students attend school on a staff development day.

That would allow for smoother scheduling of the high school graduation date, he said. The last day of school is now set for June 20.

“That will give us some flexibility,” Delahanty said.

Unpredictable New England weather could mean more snowstorms cancelling school as late as April.

“We just move the last day back as we go along,” said Brian Blake, superintendent of the Sanborn Regional School District.

Sanborn has canceled four days this winter, with the last day also set for June 20.

Other districts follow the same philosophy as Sanborn and Salem.

“If there is another storm, we just move it back again,” said Chip Underhill, spokesman for Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

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