By Beth Germano

ANDOVER (CBS) — Mother Nature is taking the fun out of snow days this year. In Andover, students are about to pay the price for those extra days off.

They will now have a half day of classes on Good Friday and attend school on two Saturdays, April 28 and May 12, thanks to relentless winter storms and power outages.

“I like snow days, but I don’t want any more snow days,” said eighth-grader Rachel Johnson.

They’re not alone since Chelmsford and Billerica are surveying parents about similar ideas, and many districts are pushing the calendar close to the end of June to get the required 180 days.

“It’s very frustrating if we can start earlier or have less vacation days it might help,” said parent Sue Biederwolf.

The frustration has some superintendents asking the state to consider alternative ways to handle it such as adding time instead of days to the school calendar. “Maybe look at extending the school day toward the end of the school year a half hour or 45 minutes,” said Tom Scott of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.

“That’s quality time, you can do a good learning experience in that 30 to 45 minute period.”

Students admit it’s been disruptive in the classroom leaving predictable schedules a little less predictable. “You have to keep on studying and studying for tests, everything gets pushed back and it gets annoying because you don’t know when it’s going to be,” said seventh-grader Lindsey Balfour.

What they’re hoping is these kinds of storms haven’t become the new normal.


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