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Cape Breton schools ‘bombarded’ by several storms so far this winter

SYDNEY — Winter is not quite half over, yet the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board has recorded four days of board-wide storm closures.

Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board superintendent Ambrose White, left, reads his monthly report at a school board meeting at Sherwood Park Education Centre in Sydney Monday, as board vice-chair Stewart Matheson looks on.

The region known as North of Smokey in the Cape Breton Highlands has seen school cancelled six times due to poor weather conditions.

At the school board’s monthly meeting Monday at Sherwood Park Education Centre in Sydney, superintendent Ambrose White thanked the board’s transportation co-ordinator Colleen MacMullin and other staff on judgment calls made in light of inclement weather.

“It’s never an easy decision to make but it is always made with the safety of students in mind,” White said in his monthly report to the board and the three members of the public in attendance.

He said a number of agencies are contacted including police, the Department of Transportation, and bus supervisors prior to making the call to cancel school by 6:30 a.m.

In an interview following the 30-minute meeting, White said it’s always a concern when class time has to be cancelled.

“But there’s no limit under the (Education) Act on the number of school days to make up. We’re hoping that we’re over the worse but we’re not into February yet,” he said.

“Teachers are very good at compacting curriculum making sure they get everything done for the term that they’re supposed to cover. At this point, we feel relatively confident that we’re OK.”

White said after 40 years as an educator he’s learned how to deal with the questions and complaints from parents over school cancellations.

There is not much room to add days to the school calendar, with March Break scheduled for March 8-16, and the last day of school slated for June 30.

Periods of snow are forecast for Wednesday, however exact amounts haven’t been determined yet by meteorologists.

And in case you’re keeping count, it’s 50 days until the first official day of spring.

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