The Maine School Administrative District 75 school board on Thursday discusses canceling school in bad weather instead of calling remote learning days. Screenshot

TOPSHAM — Students in the Topsham area are getting their snow days back.

In November, the Maine School Administrative District 75 school board started requiring students to learn remotely in bad weather, on days the district would normally have declared a snow day and canceled all school activities, whether they were remote or not.

The board scrapped the practice in a 10-2 vote on Feb. 25.

Students in MSAD 75, which serves Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham, have been attending school through a mix of in-person and remote learning since the school year began.

The policy came into play when the district called for a remote learning day due to weather on Dec. 17. But on Feb. 2, the district canceled school and didn’t require remote learning.

School board member Eric Lusk said the community wanted to have snow days for “a more normal experience for the kids than what we have been having.”

Students will have to make up for snow days at the end of the year, according to interim Superintendent Bob Lucy.

Board member Brandy Robertson said her children would learn better on a make-up day in June than on a snow day.

School board member Alison Hawkes agreed that snow days don’t provide good learning opportunities for students.

“To have kids at home crying — this legitimately happened — crying because they have to be on a Zoom meeting instead of outside playing in the snow. So I don’t want to take away those opportunities,” Hawkes said.

School board member Doug Dumont said he is all for snow days but opposed the vote to return to the policy of canceling school in inclement weather.

“One thing we hear time and time again is that we are missing out on learning opportunities,” Dumont said. “I agree, virtual learning may not be perfect but here, week after week after week that we want these kids to be learning; we want these kids to be in school regardless of whether it’s in school or out of school.”


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