HAMILTON (CBS) — Although most students in Massachusetts are on vacation this week, students in the Hamilton-Wenham district will be in the classroom.

School officials decided after having eight snow days so crews could clear snow from the schools’ roofs, they would cancel February vacation.

But that doesn’t sit well with some families who had planned to go away for the week.

Mary Johnson planned a winter break getaway for her 14-year-old son Anders. It would’ve been his first time on a plane by himself to see his aunt in Virginia.

But the Johnsons cancelled those plans.

“The worst part was having to tell my son. I knew he would be disappointed and I was disappointed too,” the mother said.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports.

The school committee had only two options, make up the days now or extend it at the end of the school year which would cut into summer vacation.

“We worked into the most sound decision which was supported by superintend which was to get kids back in the classroom,” said Alexa McCloughen, the school committee chairman.

“We have MCAS coming up in March. The kids really need to be prepared for that.”

The schools are allowing families who planned vacation to still go on them and have the students make it up the days they miss. But many say it’s just not worth the hassle.

The state mandates that schools have 180 days of classes. Many school districts are still deciding how they plan to make up the snow days.

Comments (16)
  1. emom says:

    Come on what do you parents preferr,, they end up going to school till july. Really now, I would so rather they use a vacation week so as to allow them to have a functional vacation time with the family. Some families have a small window to plan a trip and if your child is still in school, well it puts a crimp in your plans. Oh and what if your child is required to attend summer school, there would then be no break so they can enjpy some time off. I think some parents are just plain selfish. to entitled and worried about their selfish plans,. over their kids education,, Get real

  2. emily says:

    I understand that this may have rubbed some families the wrong way and messed up some plans, but it is better now than in the summer. Personally, my family and I go away for majority of the summer and have all sorts of things already paid for and what not. I would rather lose the winter break than part of the summer because there is much more going on in the summer. Either way, parents and families will be complaining, so it does not matter whether or not the cancel winter break or take a way a week in the summer, there are going to be some who will disagree. You can never please everyone.

  3. Humpty says:

    School comes first. They were lucky they could cancel those plans…many cannot not get a refund for things they prepaid for.
    This affects everyone, child care, work schedules, vacations. All affected.

    My question was why it took the school dept 8 days to clear a roof they KNEW was overloading. Why did they wait so long to start the process?

    Poor planning. Poor judgment on the school depts part. They should have started earlier when they saw the storms piling up along with the snow.
    Other schools got it together ahead of time.

    So blame the school dept and not the families…they are paying enough already.
    THis is happening all over the area , not just here.

  4. Cynic says:

    Just means there will be fewer Babies born next November.

    1. dan says:

      your a real brain child

  5. taxedout says:

    Didn’t hear much complaining when they were off!!!! Then when they get lousy grades, they can sue the school for not doing their job!!! Why do we have to read stories about Whiners all the time??? If they changed it to the summer the cryers would Whine about that!!!!

  6. Denise says:

    Parents and students are always upset about something – they only want rules to apply when they effect someone else. I think February vacation is a joke! Some of us get New Year and our next break is in MAY! Welcome to the real wold Kiddies… stay in school and take advantage of the perks of being a child as long as you can. Adult hood and for the most of us responsibility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

  7. denise says:

    Sorry for the typos – that’s what happens when you can’t always type as fast as you think!

  8. response says:

    “The schools are allowing families who planned vacation to still go on them and have the students make it up the days they miss. But many say it’s just not worth the hassle”
    What’s the hasstle? Just plain laziness if you ask me.
    This child could have gone to visit the aunt in VA. Just get the work ahead of time and do it. If your child happens to be out for a few days sick, do you not get the work to do?

  9. emom says:


  10. emom says:

    What do they want,, privaleges,for their darling little angles, What do they really think the real world is all about VACATIONS. get real, some out there that work have to take a vacation when their company tells them too, some hardly are able to take a vacation. Like when you are working you can nilly willy just not go to work.. AH THINK AGAIN CHILDREN, do that and you get FIRED. so get use to having no fun. after all, adults work, and get no rewards unless they work.. poor entitled children,, haven t a clue to what the real world is like..

  11. peter998899 says:

    So, what’s the penalty if the schools don’t have the full 180 days? Prisen for the superintendent?

    I say save the town some money, go for the shortened school year, don’t pay the teachers for the days off.

    No one will go to jail if the town decides not to have the full 180 days.

    This policy is a joke when weather and other natural disasters interfer with school days.

  12. denise says:

    Some of us say… when we were in school X,Y & Z. Can you imagine what these kids are going to say – whaa whaa whaa… sniffle sniffle sniffle… What are we going to do when these kids are ruling the world or worse yet… their kids! Could you imagine if we went back to “the good ol days”… they couldn’t handle it… or worse yet their parents couldn’t handle it – because it would mean handing out the punishment if the manner they see fit! When my Mom said we wouldn’t got if X… we didn’t go! Believe me she suffered more than we did – but we learned RESPECT!!!! CONSEQUENCES!!!!! I think they should take those words out of the dictionary because they aren’t something the kids of today have learned or will apparently be forced to learn!

  13. Jean says:

    Public school is a joke. Try paying for private school. Then you get what you pay for. When you work you get vacation if you can affors it now days!.

  14. emom says:

    Public school is only a JOKE, if students dont try and learn.. Many go on to do wonderfull and great things., become womderfull adults, BUT if students feel school is not THEIR THING, as so many say,, then How can public school be a joke,, Oh sure schools can have issues, LIKE private ones cant… either way,,, sgtudents fail them selves, when they no longer feel the need to learn any more and drop out of school .. So maybe parents need to be more proactive and in their kids lives know what they are doing, go to school teachers meetings and see if there is a problem with their scores, otherwise, WHO FAILED WHO…. HHMMMMM,, maybe parents should look in the mirror and ask that question… Kids will do anything to fool their parents, and so many believe them and later are fooled… what a shame… then you blame the school… even worse blame..

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