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Already too many 'snow days' in Northern Michigan

By Staff
Wednesday, February 06, 2008

With several weeks of winter remaining, some Michigan education officials are worried because schools they run have used all of their allocated "snow days."

According the 9&10 News Express, students at Clare public schools could face longer days or an extended academic year if more time is lost to weather-related closings.

Budget-driven cutbacks for snow clearing are compounding the situation.

Roads plowed less often than usual could lead to closures that wouldn't have been necessary in past years.

Meanwhile, the two Sault Ste. Marie-based school boards don't have a set number of approved snow days per year.

Only one snow day has closed everything so far in 2007-08.

It occurred during last week's blizzard (on January 30).

Steve Fratesi, supervisor of transportation services with the Algoma District School Board, told that pulling buses off the read doesn't necessarily mean school closures.

"We cancelled transportation only on January 18, 2008; however, the schools were open so that was not considered a snow day."

In response to our query, Jim Fitzpatrick, communications officer with the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, added: "There is no specific allotment or limit for our board where it comes to snow days."

Time will tell if more severe weather shutdowns are ahead.

There's plenty of winter left.

Some readers will remember an early-April blizzard during the 1980s.

That zero visibility day closed all schools and almost everything else in and around the two Saults.

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