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Bethel schools to extend some school days

Many schools districts across Maine had a snow day on Thursday, and MSAD 44 in the Bethel and Newry area was one of them. (WGME)

BETHEL (WGME) -- Many schools districts across Maine had a snow day on Thursday, and MSAD 44 in the Bethel and Newry area was one of them.

"This is our 9th snow day of the school year," said David Murphy, Superintendent of MSAD 44.

The school district includes Telstar High and Middle School, Woodstock Elementary, and Crescent Park Elementary.

To combat the large amount of snow days, Murphy says the school days will be lengthened for the next 25 school days.

"By adding the hour per day for the next 25 days, that will allow us to recoup 5 snow days, which means our kids wouldn't be in school deep into June," said Murphy.

He says the district only added five snow days to the calendar at the start of the year, and if they didn't go through with this makeup process, the school year would end on June 29th. Parents in Bethel say they are mostly happy with the decision.

"I think it's a better idea than extending days at the end of the year. We would have to go all the way into July, and who wants to do that," said Chris Merrill, a Bethel resident.

Some said they were apprehensive of the plan, saying that they would rather have a break shortened. Murphy says MSAD 44 added an hour to 25 school days last year around the exact same time, and that the plan worked out well.

"It is a time where there are fewer disruptions after school, we will have some things that we will need to modify or change, but we found out last year that this time worked out pretty well," he said.

He says in the last couple years, the amount of snow days has slowly increased. He says at this point, there's nothing the district can do at the beginning of the year from preventing something like this from happening. He says if more snow days occur, they won't add more days that have an extra hour of school.

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