LEWISTON — The Lewiston school district will have the option of sending students home two hours early due to bad weather beginning next year.

On Monday, the School Committee gave final approval for the measure.

Under the new policy, the district can only call for an early release day if parents are notified no later than the night before. In the case of an early release, all after school activities and prekindergarten classes would be canceled; athletic competitions and other events would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Langlais said Lewiston schools will create contingency plans for children who have no one to pick them up.

The school district received significant feedback from the community before voting on the policy, Superintendent Jake Langlais said. About 95% of respondents to a community survey said they supported the change, which could enable the school district to use fewer snow days.

The measure passed 7-2, with Ward 1 representative Bruce Damon and Ward 3 representative Elizabeth Eames opposed.


“Scrambling to find someone or changing your whole world the next day seems very difficult and, I think, therefore dangerous,” Eames said. “Just because a majority supports it, the minority who don’t, they have a good reason not to. I think maybe the minority should outweigh the majority on some occasions, and this is one of them.”

In other news, the School Committee voted unanimously to spend $5.8 million in federal pandemic relief aid to upgrade climate controls, large mechanical roof units, and other related systems at Lewiston High School.

Access to the pandemic relief funds, which can only be used for select purposes, ends next year.

In a memo, Langlais wrote that the facilities subcommittee believes the project will help extend the life of the aging building and save taxpayers money.

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