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Only five storm days for Anglophone South students: superintendant - Feb. 26, 2014

Barb Rayner
St. Stephen
It may seem like more, but students in the Anglophone South School District have only had five storm days off this year – and two of them were last week.
Superintendent Zoe Watson said Friday that the district had only missed school for two days up until Feb. 14 then there was the Valentine’s Day storm which caused classes to be cancelled followed by the two storm days Wednesday and Thursday last week.
There were also a few mornings with one-hour delays as well but there are no plans for adding days to the school year to cover the cancellations and each year there are a few days missed due to weather – last year there were four storm closures.
“As I sent the closure announcement to our school leaders early yesterday morning I did ask that they look at extra activities during the school day and weigh these in light of the fact that we have lost one week due to weather closures. We have to maximize the instructional opportunities for sure.”
Watson said she works closely with the transportation team through the winter to make the best decisions possible with the safety of students as their priority.
“We have an assistant manager in St. Stephen, one for Saint John, one who is in Hampton and our manager. Very early in the morning they are collecting information from the road crews to determine where they are with clearing the roads from Grand Manan to Sussex Corner.
“We subscribe to a weather forecast system called AMEC that comes in around 4 a.m. and again mid-afternoon and we receive hourly reports from St. Stephen, Sussex and Saint John. We also track radar. In St. Stephen weather systems from the U.S. are tracked.
“It is a very thorough process and by 6 a.m. we make our decision as it has to be communicated via media, our district website, our toll free snow line and Twitter.”

barb@stcroixcourier.ca