Shrewsbury – Spring Street School has sent a notice to parents saying they will not be able to guarantee that a back path to the school used by student walkers will be clear of snow for the winter. These families are encouraged to find alternate routes to the school or drive their children to school.
Elementary school children who live less than two miles from their schools must either purchase a bus pass or walk to and from school each day. Superintendent Dr. Anthony Bent is encouraging families who have chosen to have their child walk to school to consider alternate plans for the winter.
"We do have school when sidewalks are not plowed or are icy," Bent said. "It's not ideal, but it's the reality of what we are dealing with."
Transportation to and from school is completely up to parents, but Bent has asked parents to consider safety first and foremost, especially in the wake of two major snowstorms in the past month.
"The town does not have the capacity to plow and clear the sidewalks before school would start, and some streets don't have sidewalks at all," he said. "We ask parents to exercise appropriate and good judgment, and consider driving their children to school."
Children who do continue to walk to school throughout the winter months are encouraged to wear reflective clothing, stay on the sidewalks or as close to the edge of the road as possible, and be very cautious about passing vehicles.
Shrewsbury schools have been delayed due to weather twice this school year so far. Bent said he makes the call at 5:30 a.m. to determine if school will be cancelled, delayed or opened on schedule, but he said it's ultimately the decision of the parent to determine if the roads are safe enough to travel on.
"There may be pockets of town that are much more slippery than others, and parents may believe that the conditions are not safe enough," Bent said. "Parents should never give up the responsibility to make that decision for their children."
Children who are kept home due to weather on days that school is open will be marked absent, and will need to make up work from the day they missed.