Barre schools closingMarch 12,2014
BARRE – Thanks to an ominous weather forecast students from two local schools will be sent home early today and – per order of Mayor Thomas Lauzon – will get the day off on Thursday.
With a major snowstorm bearing down on central Vermont students at Barre City Elementary and Middle School and Spaulding High School were scheduled to be released at noon, according to Superintendent John Bacon, who didn’t get the chance to cancel school on Thursday because Lauzon did it for him.
Exercising the authority granted him by the city’s charter, Lauzon ordered both of Barre’s public schools – BCEMS and Spaulding – closed on Thursday due to what he characterized as a looming weather emergency.
With forecasts calling for between 12 and 20 inches of snow to fall on central Vermont over the next 24 hours, Lauzon informed Bacon of his decision by email shortly after 9:30 a.m. today.
“… While our crews will work diligently and in split 16-hour shifts, we simply cannot guarantee safe roads at all times due to the severity of this storm,” Lauzon wrote, noting that he was troubled that he hadn’t heard back from Bacon on the subject, but had consulted with city and state officials who shared his concerns.
Bacon said he had spoken with Chief Tim Bombardier earlier in the day and was planning to wait until this afternoon or possibly this evening to determine what to do about school on Thursday. He said that would have given parents ample time to plan in the event school was canceled, while giving him a better idea of what to expect from a storm that had only barely begun, but was expected to intensify.
Lauzon saved him the trouble.
According to Lauzon, giving parents extra time to plan was one of his considerations. But, he said, he didn’t want to risk school officials underestimating the storm that he believed would challenge the city’s ability to keep roads and sidewalks clear.
“It looks like this storm is going to live up to its billing,” he said.
According to Lauzon, keeping inexperienced high school drivers off snow-covered roads and young children away from bus stops that hadn’t yet been cleared were his primary concern.
“It all comes down to safety,” he said.
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