Will Boston Public Schools Cancel April Vacation Due to Snow?

Boston Public School students might see their vacations cut, after record levels of snow this winter have resulted in eight snow days.
Boston Public School students might see their vacations cut, after record levels of snow this winter have resulted in eight snow days. –Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe

Enjoy your time off now, Boston Public School students, because your snow days may cut into April vacation. With winter weather closing the city’s public schools yet again on Monday and Tuesday, officials are working out how to make up for time lost during this winter’s historic snowfall.

Cutting into — or cutting out — the break is one of several options officials are considering. Governor Charlie Baker told Boston Herald Radio:

“I know that some places have started having conversations about April vacation. I think you’ll also see people have conversations about when they’re going to end the year in the spring … And frankly, when you look at the number of days we’re talking about so far, I think everything’s going to be on the table.’’

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Indeed, everything is: Along with school vacations, Boston school officials have eyed Evacuation Day (March 17), Good Friday (April 3), and Bunker Hill Day (June 17) as make-up days.

“All options in terms of available days are under consideration,’’ the department said.

Necessity drives these drastic measures: Tuesday’s closure brings this winter’s total to eight, the most weather-related closures in the past 20 years. In that time, the average number of snow days in the city was around two and a half, according to The Globe.

The 2014-15 school year was scheduled to end June 19; Monday’s closure extends it to June 30 — Tuesday’s, to July, one would think.

But, while Boston students attended school until June 30 four times between 1982-83 and 2013-14, The Globe reports that the school year was never extended into July.

That’s because, while state law allows schools to stay open, the union contract requires the school year to begin after Labor Day and not extend beyond June 30.

This makes Tuesday’s preemptive closure problematic, forcing city officials to consider creative solutions to make sure BPS provides the mandated 180 days of instruction.

So, what will it be, no April vacation? Fewer holidays? The dreaded Saturday school?

Or a waiving of the 180-day requirement? State law allows for it under certain circumstances, and a kid can dream. After all, the 1992-93 school year ended on its 179th day, which fell on June 30, The Globe reported.

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