Students must attend 180 days of school. Right now, the elementary and middle schools have used all five snow days built into the school-year calendar. Their students will finish on Friday, June 28, assuming their is not another snow day. They would not be able to go to school on Monday, July 1 if there is, because the teachers contract does not allow it, according to the School Committee.
Andover High missed an additional day of school this year because of a gas leak, so the town must figure out how Andover High will make up that day. The school officials contacted by reporter Dustin Luca were offering no possible solutions prior to Townsman deadline this week, but planned to meet Wednesday night, March 13. One would suppose they would have to at least consider having a few longer days, going to school on Saturdays or sacrificing a planned day off.
But the system didn’t have to be in this situation.
With many experts expecting extreme weather and powerful storms to be more common – and with power outages in the area seemingly on the rise as well – it would be a good idea to build a bit of extra cushion into the calendar. This year the first day of classes wasn’t until Sept. 6. The students could start earlier than that. There’s no reason the school year must start the Thursday after Labor Day.
Parents and teachers everywhere know kids are a lot more focused in September than when the steamy days of late June are pulling them toward the beaches and playgrounds.