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Work Begins to Clear Stratford Schools of Deep Snow [UPDATED]

As the cleanup continues, Stratford Board of Education Wednesday reverses a decision by the mayor's office to open schools Thursday. There will be no school tomorrow.

Updated Wednesday 3:30 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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Updated Wednesday 11:30 a.m.

The decision has been made to .

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Work is under way to clear Stratford schools of the historic snowfall that hit the region five days ago.

"All walkways, roofs and lots will be cleaned and checked prior to reopening," Marc Dillon, the mayor's chief of staff, wrote in an email to Stratford Patch after it was announced schools would be closed Wednesday for the third time this week.

Dillon added that public works is working to widen roads for school buses. He said town employees will handle the sidewalks around schools but encouraged residents to shovel neighborhood sidewalks for students to walk to their bus stop or to school.

Said Stratford Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester, "If the town administration informs us that they will not be able to open enough roadways and sidewalks that the safety of our students is compromised then we close schools."

Mayor John A. Harkins said on his official Facebook page Tuesday that by the end of the day yesterday all town roads would be made passable.

Peace February 13, 2013 at 08:49 PM
We live in New England. Regardless of the fact that we don't always get snowy winters, the town and state should always be prepared. It should not take days on end to clear snow just as I firmly believe our BOE should always factor in natural disasters to the school year calendar. Perhaps doing without a February break in the future should be considered since the kids were just off for Christmas. Yes we got a lot of snow. Yes there are limited places to put it. But it should not go on the sidewalk.
Walt February 13, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Clueless
stick lee February 13, 2013 at 09:18 PM
JUST WONDERFUL....I spent my weekend shoveling 100 ft of sidewalk. Then about 15 ft of roadway. At about an aver. of 3 ft. deep. I get home today to a plowed in driveway and a 12-15 ft MOUNTAIN of snow on the sidewalk both of which i broke my ass clearing. THANKS BITCH. Truck it down to birdseye and dump it in the river. The gov. said you can !!
PMK February 15, 2013 at 11:35 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.
Beetle Bailey February 17, 2013 at 12:13 PM
If you're not happy with the mayor or your council person vote them out next time around. If you think you can do better run for office. So stop bitching and DO SOMETHING about it!

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