Nova Scotia

Halifax board rejects fewer snow days

A proposal to have fewer snow days at Halifax-area schools has been voted down, which means all students will continue to get the day off even if they walk to school.

A proposal to have fewer snow days at Halifax-area schools has been voted down.

The motion called for schools to remain open in all but the "most extreme" conditions, regardless of bus safety. That way, students who walk or get a drive to school could still attend.

Halifax regional school board members rejected the motion in a tie vote Wednesday night.

"We had a good debate," said David Cameron, who put forward the proposal, "and I hope it'll be reflected in decisions that staff make in the future."

Currently, administrators have the discretion to close some or all schools. The decision often depends on whether school buses can run safely.

Pat Lamont, with the crossing guards' union, said safety is a concern for students who walk too.

"We see sidewalks not plowed, we see children walking on snowbanks, we see cars not being able to stop. So basically, when road conditions warrant, we think it's safer to have everybody at home," Lamont said.

Cameron said nothing in his motion would have "in any way impinged on student safety."

Last year, there were 4.5 snow days when all schools in the board were closed. There was only one snow day in 2009-10, but no less than 7.5 days in 2008-09.

Cameron said he'll see what this winter brings before he decides whether to push his motion forward again.