Snow Days Piling Up in Billerica Force Parents to Make a Choice

With snow storms lasting into March and snow days piling up across the state, many districts are scrambling to make up lost time in the classroom. In Billerica, school officials are considering an alternative solution and asking parents to weigh in.

Two days after more than two feet of snow fell across the Merrimack Valley, an email survey showed up in the inboxes of parents and teachers in Billerica. It asks if they would rather give up three days of April vacation instead of going to school until the end of June.

Billerica Public Schools builds in 5 school days, but has already used 8 for snow and weather related power outages. As it stands, the last day of school is set for June 27th, but could be moved back to June 22nd if the school committee decides to have class April 17th-19th.

Before making a decision, they are asking parents to weigh in by March 22nd. NBC Boston reached school committee chairman Jim Gately by phone Friday.

“Parents are a part of this,” Gately said. “They are key players in this so we’re just trying to get enough information so that when we make a decision, it’s an informed decision.”

Parents in Billerica were divided on the alternative.

“I hope that they can take some of the vacation away in April and let them go to school so they don’t have to keep going into the summer. Let them enjoy their summer,” parent Audra Tomes said.

“I don’t think that’s going to work out because everybody is so mixed,” parent Jamie Crowley added. “People have vacation plans for April.”

Parents said they are also concerned about students staying in schools in late June because many of the classrooms are not air conditioned.

The proposal is set to be discussed and decided at the Billerica school committee meeting on March 26th. Parents would be notified no later than March 27th.

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