NOTE: No official decision has been regarding the status of Foxborough Public Schools opening – or closing – Monday. This report summarizes the discussion town officials have held with department heads regarding the topic.
UPDATE (5:08 p.m.; Feb. 9) - Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debra Spinelli reiterated Saturday afternoon that no decision regarding the status of school for Monday has been made and there likely won't be an announcement until some time Sunday.
"I’m not going to make a decision Saturday," Spinelli said. "There’s been a lot of stuff everywhere about us being cancelled until Wednesday and I have been inundated with various versions, none of which are reality. I will wait until Sunday.
Spinelli stressed that she has had no conversations with fellow superintendents fro other school districts in the area regarding school on Monday.
"No one has decided definitively in the area one way or the other," Spinelli said.
DPW Director Roger Hill is "doubtful" sidewalks will be cleared in time for school to open Monday but the decision will be made solely by Spinelli.
"When a decision is made on school it will be made from the Superintendent’s office," said Town Manager Kevin Paicos.
Foxborough Patch will update this story when Spinelli announces her decision.
ORIGINAL STORY - Now that the snow has stopped falling, the town’s focus shifts to making roads and sidewalks safe for students to return to school.
When that happens, however, is anyone’s guess at this point.
“This isn’t quite as bad as the Blizzard of ’78 but it is up there,” said DPW Director Roger Hill. “It is a big, big storm. After the Blizzard of ’78 our schools were down for two weeks. This isn’t the same but I want everybody to understand getting this stuff open is a tedious and long procedure. We have so many plows and that’s it. Everybody has to be patient. There’s no instant gratification in fighting Mother Nature.”
Hill said his department’s focus as of Saturday afternoon remains on the main and secondary roads in town.
“We haven’t touched the back roads and we haven’t touched the sidewalks,” Hill said. “We probably won’t get to the schools at all Saturday.”
That leaves Sunday to clear all the sidewalks and schools if classes are to resume Monday. That decision will not be made until some time Sunday at the earliest but Town Manager Kevin Paicos is not optimistic that schools will resume Monday.
“There’s almost no chance in hell we are going to have those sidewalks open for Monday,” Paicos said. “There’s no way we will have it all cleared safely for Monday. Tuesday, I think we will be lucky if we open [schools] Tuesday.”
Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis said he and Superintendent of Schools Debra Spinelli have heard a rumor going around town Saturday that Foxborough Public Schools will be closed until Wednesday. That is currently not the case.
“Deb Spinelli said there’s a rumor going around on Facebook that school has been cancelled until Wednesday,” DeVellis said. “There’s been no decisions made by the town to close schools until Wednesday. We are evaluating it and it is just a rumor.”
Spinelli said during an afternoon phone conference with town officials that superintendents around the area have not held any discussions on cancelling schools Monday, let alone multiple days.
“There’s really no talk among the superintendents at this time about Monday,” Spinelli said. “We still have a day-and-a-half. Everybody is kind of waiting to see where how much progress each town makes so no one is chatting yet. I imagine we will do so Sunday morning.”
Hill added that the DPW will do its best to clear the schools and sidewalks but at some point Saturday his plow operators are going to need to take a significant break.
“I would say the guys are going to be able to work a little longer but they are going to have to crash for a little bit,” Hill said. “We will get as much done as we can. I doubt we are going to get into the schools at all Saturday.”
Hill said while he will have a better answer for Spinelli and the school department Sunday morning, he is schools will be able to open Monday.
“I wouldn’t count on Monday too much right now,” Hill said.
Spinelli said Saturday that if schools cannot open Monday that would mark the fourth weather-related closing of the 2012-13 school year and force students and staff to be in session for another Monday late in June.
“Our last day of school right now is a Friday and to bump it to another Monday late in June is really terrible,” Spinelli said.
Town officials will continue to discuss the status of Foxborough's schools Saturday and Sunday before making an official deicision, which will be reported here on Foxborough Patch.
“There has been no decisions made by the town [as of Saturday afternoon],” DeVellis said.