Spinelli: Closing Foxborough Schools Friday was ‘Difficult’ but ‘Right Decision’
It’s been a year of challenging weather for Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debra Spinelli and the town.
When Foxborough Schools Superintendent announced schools would be closed Friday due to snow, she – or anyone else for that matter – had no idea the town would receive the highest snowfall total in the state by storm’s end.
With more than two feet of snow on the ground by 5:50 p.m. Friday, Spinelli knew she had made the right decision.
“Trying to anticipate what this storm would deliver - and when - was very difficult, for superintendents and even meteorologists,” Spinelli said. “While I am never happy to cancel school, given that it [was still] snowing [Friday afternoon] I knew it was the right decision.”
Friday’s cancellation marks the fifth time in the 2012-13 academic year Foxborough Public Schools were closed due to weather-related incidents. Foxborough was forced to shut down for two days in October due to power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy and two days in February due to the Blizzard of 2013.
As of now, the last day of school will be June 25 for students, staff and faculty. However, the last day for seniors will remain May 31st. So what happens if Foxborough has to close again before June 25?
“If we have another cancellation due to weather, we will simply go another day,” Spinelli said. “All public schools are required to have students attend school for 180 days each year. The five 'built-in' snow days are part of the official school calendar, state regulations requiring that the School Committee must approve a calendar of 180 days of school for students, with five cancellation days built in for planning purposes.”
Foxborough Patch took to Facebook to ask readers what they thought about the decision to close schools Friday and to no surprise, our readers overwhelmingly agreed that the storm’s surprising wrath was too much for classes to be in session.
Here's what some readers had to say:
Elaine Price Gildred said: “I have no kids in school now but it would be nuts to send kids out there.”
Nichela Farmer said: “I drive a school bus for another town. Yes it was the right choice. A 15-ton vehicle driving on roads that are very slippery is not safe.”
Heather Sougaris said: “Yes, but I'm also glad they got the day in [Thursday]. Good call both days.”
Jamie Condangelo McAndrews said: “As much as I don't want them making up all these days, safety first.”
Maria D'Emilia McHugo said: “Definitely the right choice to cancel school. If you don't need to be on the roads, you shouldn't be. Not sure why this area always get the worst of the weather but I am glad the kids are home safe.”
Samantha Hanson said: “I recommend they make up the time on April vacation instead of going into mid June.”
Karen Casson Wheatley said: “Although I sensed the frustration in Superintendent Spinelli's voice when she left the message Friday, she made the right call. It was almost a white out and the roads were barely passable let alone the sidewalks. I suggest a Saturday for makeup as many families have April vacations planned already.”