Saying that cancelling school was “the last thing” she wanted to do, the New Canaan Public Schools superintendent on Monday defended her decision in an email to parents.
Superintendent Dr. Mary Kolek cited a lack of “safe and dependable” transportation and said that New Canaan schools workers live in towns, as she does, that were affected more severely by the winter storm that hit Friday.
“Living in one of the affected towns, I can personally attest to the fact that even with extraordinary effort, it is not possible to get plow service or even to arrange for alternative transportation, especially on the day after the storm when government and businesses are employing all available crews to clear essential areas,” Kolek said in her email.
The full text of the email is attached as a PDF.
Kolek's decision has been widely criticized by Patch readers. Here are some comments posted on an article that Sunday night announced the cancellation:
- Sarah Norton: Amazing isn't it? I have been here since 1974 and been a teacher in New Canaan for 20 years and never seen the cancellation button pushed so much. I realize the weather is more severe but we have gone the wrong way with contingency planning.
- spencer richardson: School buses are a convenient way for our kids to get to school, but they are not the only way. New York City has had a bus drivers' strike for about a month now, and those schools are all functioning. Heaven forbid that parents, nannies, older siblings or neighbors might have to drive our children to school instead of the bus drivers who can't seem to get here. This is completely ridiculous and unacceptable. Time for our school administrators to change their approach.
- James: Really? No school again? All the towns surrounding us have a delayed opening and our town offices are open with a delayed start. But our schools are closed because our bus drivers can't get here? Where do they live? Maine? We should get our bus drivers from the same place that Norwalk, Darien, Wilton, Stamford, etc hire theirs. At least they can show up for work. And we pay the highest salaries in CT for our educators. Too bad they don't have to come to work.