The snow falls, and the eyes of 263 local young snow boarders and skiers light up. Until they hear the news that their weekly trip to Bradford Ski Hill is cancelled - again.

Unfortunately, that's how the town-run Bradford Ski Program works. Whenever school is canceled or there is an early dismissal because of snow, the ski program is cancelled. It happened this Tuesday because school was dismissed early.

"We're on a school schedule," explained Meg Batchelder of the Department of Community Services. "The rule is that if school is not held, we're cancelled."

Students in grades 3-8 from the town's public schools and St. Augustine and Montessori schools participate. The west side of town goes on Tuesdays after school while the easterly side goes on Thursdays. Students are bused from their schools to Bradford, which is located in Haverhill.

Parents paid for eight weekly lessons and rentals up front. Missed lessons will be made up at the end of the program.

"We were supposed to end before school vacation in February, but we're going until the end of February, at least," said Batchelder. "I think it's the most [cancellations] ever."

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