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School Canceled in North Reading, Monday, Feb. 11

North Reading Public Schools will be closed on Monday.

Due to the blizzard of '13, schools will be closed on Monday, Feb. 11. 

The following is a letter to parents from Superintendent Kathleen Willis: 

School personnel have been working around the clock to clear away the snow at our schools.  Unfortunately, the historic snow volume has compromised our ability to provide a safe school environment.  Therefore, there will be no school in all schools in North Reading on Monday, February 11, 2013.  All athletic, extracurricular, and recreational activities are cancelled for the day and the evening.

While the parking lots are 80 percent cleared, the sidewalks and school entrances and exits will not be cleared in time for school to open on Monday. Extra equipment is being brought in and I am confident that we can reopen school on Tuesday. The DPW and the school department are working together to make the schools a safe place for learning.

When school reopens there will be many high snow banks and bus stops that are less than ideal. Please talk to the children about bus stop safety.

 

Mel Webster February 12, 2013 at 03:41 AM
John -- North Reading is well known for being one of the last towns to close school due to weather. On Thursday, the Governor asked that everyone be off the roads by noon Friday. Given that request, nearly every school in the state or at least in the eastern/central half of the state was closed. The Governor had also declared a state of emergency. As for today, the schools were absolutely not ready to be opened for safety reasons.
Rich McGowan February 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM
John, the choice is not between clear streets and schools ready to open, because the schools can't be ready to open until the streets are safely cleared. Are you advocating we increase spending to deal with these major storms? That seems to be the choice. Spend more, or take an extra day when needed. That's not a bad discussion to be having, but I can guess which side of that choice most people would land on.
John Intorcio February 12, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Mel - Do you have any actual statistics to back up your claim about North Reading being last to close? I clearly understand the schools weren’t ready on Monday. I’m questioning the why. Rich - No, I'm advocating a review of how we spend the money we've got. If you look at the contemporary thread here about roads, we're all bragging about how North Reading roads are clearer than Reading because we spend more money to pre-treat them. I'd suggest we CONSIDER instead using that money to hire extra contractors to get schools cleared on time. It might not be enough, it might not be the right call, but c'mon - 40 hours to clear the schools wasn't enough? And I don't know about in your neighborhood, but by the time there was 4" of snow on the ground in mine, the plow team had made three passes. Considering the roads were "closed", I wonder if that wasn't excessive and if that level of effort might not have be better reserved for later in the storm or applied to the schools?
Mel Webster February 12, 2013 at 03:54 PM
John, I am just relating the reputation this district has had for numerous years regarding school closing and weather. I don't have any data and certainly am not going to spend any time looking for it :). Contractors were hired to get the schools cleared, but my understanding is that did not occur until Monday. I know I saw four dump trucks and two front end loaders cleaning the Middle School on Monday.
John Intorcio February 12, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Mel, you ignorant slu... Wait, no. I hear you Mel. Just wish those trucks were there on Sunday.

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