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30% Absent From Hamilton-Wenham School Make Up Week

By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV
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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

HAMILTON (CBS) — High school hallways are half-empty between classes. Some classrooms are nearly empty as about 60 teachers and 600 of the Hamilton-Wenham School District’s 1,976 students are absent.

While school vacation week is being used to make up days lost when crews cleared snow from school roofs in the district, the superintendent says he’s confident students are learning in classrooms he visited.

“I’m very impressed. I’m very happy with what I see, and I can say with total confidence we’re carrying on education,” observed Supt. Raleigh Buchanan, PhD.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

“I think it’s great. I think they’re going to get a great education this week because there are fewer students,” says parent Anya Goodridge. Her family had no vacation plans. Others who did are allowed excused absences but must make up work and exams.

“At first, I was a little bummed out because we had a week planned away up in New Hampshire skiing,” said parent Amy Waterman. “We’re doing two days of school and then going north now to ski. So, I’m o.k. with it. It is what it is and I feel like the town handled it as best they could.”

Some teachers and students are making the best of their school stay-cation week by having theme days with corresponding apparel.

“We said, ‘How can we make the week, since we’re going to be here, we’re not in Florida, we’re not skiing in the mountains, how can we make this a little more enjoyable for everybody, raise morale, lift school spirit?” explained biology and anatomy teacher Deborah Clapp.

Wednesday was “Floridian Vacation Day.” Thursday is “Alpine Holiday” — appropriate to the dilemma in which the school system finds itself.

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