LEWISTON — If more snow days are needed in the Lewiston Public Schools, the School Committee agreed Monday night that a teacher’s workshop will become half a student day.

Right now, the last day of school is the first day of summer, June 21, because Lewiston has used nine snow days this winter.

If there’s another storm that cancels school, a teacher’s workshop now scheduled for Friday, June 22, will become a half day of school. It is important school not go into the week of June 25, according to Superintendent Bill Webster, because custodians need the buildings empty so they may begin summer cleaning before summer school starts.

Even though June 22 would only be a half day of school, it still would qualify as a full student day under state law, Webster told School Committee members. Teachers would get half a day of a workshop instead of a full day.

If another snow day were needed beyond that, the remaining three early-release days for Lewiston students would be called off, which would be enough hours to make up for a day, Webster said.

In coming up with suggestions on how to handle 10 or more snow days, Webster said he has received more than 100 suggestions from parents, students and teachers for how to make up snow days.

One of his earlier recommendation was to extend the length of the school day by an hour on one day each week for five weeks. But it turns out, Webster said, that is not so easy at Lewiston schools, where buses run on tight schedules and several clubs or student organizations meet after school.

Farwell Elementary School teacher Kim Brown said that if school days were made longer, her third-graders would have a hard time “staying engaged.”

A longer school day would also make it harder for teachers, some of whom have to pick their own children at day care, Brown said.

School Committee member Mark Cayer said he favored Webster’s recommendation of a half day for students June 22 if another snow day were needed. The committee could always tweak that, he said.

“We can discuss this for hours,” Cayer said. “There’s a good chance we’re not going to get any more snow” and the city will not need more snow days.

That prompted laughter from the audience and teasing that Cayer had just “jinxed” Lewiston schools.


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