Here's how Westport will treat snow days this year

Everett Pritchard, 2, of Fairfield, enjoys the snow at Greens Farms School on Monday, March 4, 2019, in Westport, Conn.

Everett Pritchard, 2, of Fairfield, enjoys the snow at Greens Farms School on Monday, March 4, 2019, in Westport, Conn.

Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media

WESTPORT — With a snow storm forecasted for late Wednesday, school officials announced a plan to use no more than three snow days this year by opting for remote learning days when needed.

“In reviewing the parameters of our current school calendar, if there are more than four snow days this year, the district is required to use the April vacation as makeup days beginning on Monday, April 12,” Superintendent Thomas Scarice said in an email to parents Monday. “I would like to avoid encroaching on the April vacation, and I would like to ensure with some certainty that the school year will conclude by June 23 at the latest.”

He said he also believes the experience of a snow day for most children can be an unforgettable part of childhood, and an opportunity for unstructured play.

On Oct. 7 the Connecticut state Board of Education approved the use of remote learning days in lieu of a traditional snow day, he said. Snow days are traditionally required to be made up at the end of the school year, while remote learning days are not.

Scarice said the district will allow for only three traditional snow days that will be required to be made up in June. Any additional snow day will be a remote learning day that will not require a make up day.

“There is one additional day built in that will serve as a buffer in the event power outages require a school cancellation,” Scarice said.

He said the district will not have back-to-back snow days if snow cleanup requires another consecutive snow day.

“If a second straight snow day is required, we will conduct a remote learning day on the second day,” Scarice said. “This might be the case this Friday if the forecast continues to project snowfall well into Thursday.”

If there are widespread power outages and roads are unsafe then school will be canceled, he said. But remote learning will be conducted in the event of minimal outages.

Scarice said two-hour delayed openings and early dismissals as a result of inclement weather will cancel either the a.m. or p.m. elementary session, respectively.

“As circumstances emerge and evolve, we will make changes accordingly,” Scarice said.

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com