Weather sets record for snow days
BY ALYSSA MEIER
Winter weather gave area students a 6-day break last week, and another day off Tuesday when schools in much of the state canceled due to blizzard conditions.
Tuesday’s snow day would be the fourth in a 9-day period, seemingly setting a record for school cancellations in both Washburn and Wilton. Though school records on storm days only exist for seven years prior, newspapers from extreme winters in the state showed school was often simply delayed, not canceled.
Major snowfall in the winter of 1966 shut down schools in Washburn, Wilton and much of the area for just one Thursday. School resumed Friday, though with a delayed start. And in the 10 years Brad Rinas has been superintendent for Washburn, he said snow days were consistently fairly rare.
“We’ve averaged about one per year, counting late starts and early dismissals,” Rinas said Tuesday after school was called off again. Rinas said Monday night that he was unsure if weather would cancel school Tuesday and that he would venture out in the early morning to test the roads. Initially only delaying for two hours, Washburn Public School ended up deciding to follow the lead of Wilton and many other schools in the state, closing completely for the day.
Rinas said this is the first start to winter he has seen as a superintendent where so many snow days were taken, especially in such quick succession.
“In 1997 I was an assistant principal in Jamestown and we had a similar start in terms of snowfall, but we didn’t have as many cancellations,” Rinas said, stating that delayed starts and cancellations are also more common with modern technology providing more accurate weather forecasts.