The first day of school this week was today, Friday.
And for some parents, those that either chose to or were forced to keep their kids out of school today, have expressed some concern about whether school officials would consider it an excused absence, which could be an issue for some students who are approaching the limit on unexcused absences or for secondary school students who may have missed work.
Since Monday Montville schools have been closed to students because of Hurricane Sandy. And while some of the schools had power restored or could work off generators, there was at least one where limited power was an issue and with the majority of the town without power and impassable roads, not to mention the state of emergency declared, school closures was a given.
But it was decided Thursday night just before 9 p.m. that school would be on today, Friday Nov. 2 because full power had been restored to Mohegan School. Some parents expressed joy but many others expressed frustration about the late call and almost 40 percent of households were still without power.
Schools superintendent Pamela Aubin said she got it. She recognized parent frustration and now concern about those students that may be penalized for missing school today. Aubin said each school’s administrator makes those determinations.
“It is up to the principal to make the final call, although I have advised them of concerns raised by parents,” she said. “Parents should contact the school and explain extenuating circumstances or send in a note upon return.”
But Aubin pointed out that even given the fact that more than a third of the town remains without electricity, being in school as opposed to home, especially after four days out because of the storm, coming to school may have been a better option.
"Although we realize that being without power at home is a hardship, we urge parents to help their children get back to a normal routine,” she said. “ Besides educational benefits, our schools provide hot meals, warmth, light, and running water."