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School Chief 'Regrets' Snow Day Difficulties

Many parents were not happy with Wednesday's call on starting school on time.

Parents were not pleased with the Nashua School District's decision to hold school on time Wednesday, particularly as it was an early release day.

When contacted yesterday via email for comment, school district Superintendent Mark Conrad said the decision was a judgement call:

"The decision to hold school today was a judgment call, as evidenced by the fact that some districts closed, some delayed and then opened, and some, like Nashua, remained open.  With predictions of 2 to 3 inches of snow, and the snow beginning later than forecast, it appeared safe to me and many other superintendents at 5 a.m. this morning to remain open. There were also predictions the snow would slow down and possibly turn to rain by this afternoon, making afternoon travel better than this morning.  This in fact is happening. I do regret the difficulties we faced this morning."

Many parents were reacting online via our Nashua Patch Facebook page, as you can see in this story posted January 16 on Nashua Patch.

Gary Dube, a parent with two kids in the district, sent these comments via email to Nashua Patch Wednesday morning:

"I got a text message this morning from my 15-year-old son about the roads and being on the school bus. He said ... the bus slid around the corners and had a hard time stopping in the bus circle at Nashua South this morning. My 11 year old had to walk to Elm Street Middle School in the street because the sidewalk are non existant where I live ... I have to use a cane to walk (even though I am only 55 yrs old) and I always walk in the street because the sidewalks are always snow covered and not shoveled or plowed. It seems the City of Nashua will not clear the Main Street sidewalk snow any lower than Otterson St. and forget about them plowing the sidewalks in Otterson or West Otterson. The Mayor and the Board of Public Works say they don’t have the money or that there are too many miles of sidewalks to do. The City bus stops are always covered with snow banks and you take your life in your hands standing in the street waiting for the City Bus, and yet our elected City Officials do not care.     

Today just happens to be an early release day from school, so why delay the starting time when the kids will get out of school two hours early anyway? The City could have been better prepared by at least sanding and salting the roads and school areas instead of just leaving it because it is supposed to change over to rain. That rain just makes the snow heavier and harder to plow later. The weather is also supposed to turn colder, which means ice and snow."

On Jan. 17, we posted this "As Seen On Facebook" post, via Alderman Diane Sheehan, who said she would recommend the public press the city for answers.

What were your experiences during the Jan. 16 storm in Nashua? Tell us in the comments field below this story.

Michael Reed January 16, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Really ? Every forecast I saw said 4-6, with the heaviest starting at 6am. Seems to me it was right on the money. The problem I have is the road crews were not out early to meet this thus making the conditions what they were.
Ray Guarino January 16, 2013 at 05:35 PM
I don't fault Mr. Conrad for not calling school off, but I do fault him and the rest of the people in city government who can't plan ahead. Do the school department and the DPW talk to each other? Can they coordinate efforts to help each other? For example, getting plow trucks and salt/sanders out early and often and focusing on school driveways and major raods to and from the schools.
MaryJane Hawes January 17, 2013 at 02:26 AM
I drive a school bus in Nashua and this morning it was not safe for anyone. The side roads were not plowed at all causing us to get stuck constantly. The traffic was much heavier than normal and cars were blocking roadways and school entrances because of untreated hills. This afternoon was a little better on the main roads but many side roads were still not plowed. My street for instance did not get plowed until 3:00 p.m.....well after public schools dismissed. Also what about the safety of the children that have to walk to school. Next time it snows the superintendent should think about the safety of the children instead of how many days will need to be made up in June.
Seamus Carty January 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM
I live in a town that borders Nashua and we got a robo-call at 6 AM stating that there was a 2 hour delay. Then we got another call half an hour later announcing cancellation. It was a terrible day to have school buses on the road...

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