Remote Days a No-Go When Snow Blows

Bangor Schools Will Go With Snow Days During Inclement Weather, New Superintendent Tells BHS RamPage in Exclusive

Superintendent+Tager+sits+down+at+BHS+with+RamPage+Reporter+Lindell+Smiley

Superintendent Tager sits down at BHS with RamPage Reporter Lindell Smiley

Lindell Smiley, Staff Reporter

BANGOR—When winter storms whip up, the Bangor School Department will use all of the five full snow days already built into the school calendar first rather than going with remote learning like last year, the new school superintendent exclusively told the RamPage.

“Students, faculty and staff have been through a lot these past two years, so I will go with a snow day if I can,” Superintendent Tager said. 

This is a drastic change from the plans up to this point, when many in the school community believed remote days would be used to keep school going in some capacity through conditions that made transportation dangerous or difficult. 

“Students, faculty and staff have been through a lot these past two years, so I will go with a snow day if I can.””

— Superintendent Tager

If these five days are used, it is up to the superintendent whether the next school day with poor weather conditions will be a snow day or a remote day; however, the superintendent insisted that remote learning days will be rarely used. 

Remote learning can provide better experiences for some students than others depending on the tools they have or their style of learning, according to Superintendent Tager, making them impractical at times.

The superintendent also explained the process of deciding snow days to the RamPage, which includes checking a student favorite website, Snow Day Calculator.

“When I was in Vermont, I checked it often,” he said, referring to the site that uses a weather app along with a formula that includes how many school days have already been called and the location of your local school district. He added, “It can be fairly accurate.” The superintendent held a similar role previously at a school district in that New England state.

The process usually begins around 4:00 AM, when Mr. Tager checks weather channels and apps to assess the conditions. 

The superintendent then discusses the decision with the Public Works Department, in charge of clearing the roads; Judy Wilcox, the head of transportation;  and a group of other superintendents from the surrounding area. He said that he takes into consideration that Bangor’s roads will usually be cleared faster than smaller towns’ roads. 

If a snow day is decided, alerts will be sent out to parents and staff by around 5:30 AM. They are sent out over phone, along with local television and radio channels. As well as snow days and remote days, late arrival and early dismissal are changes that can be made to the regular schedule due to weather. 

The superintendent says that, “I will always err on the side of safety.” 

When asked when he will call the first snow day this school year, Superintendent Tager said he is pretty sure one will be called sometime after Winter Break. 

“Probably in January or February,” he said with a laugh.