Schools go easy on students in dark

Schools that have reopened since last week’s devastating ice storm are working to accommodate students whose families are still without power.

Bryan Lane, principal of Alvirne High School in Hudson, said there are still a number of students who are without electricity at home, and the school is making sure students have enough time to get papers and projects completed.

“It’s obvious that if a student needs to use the Internet or use a computer, that may be really difficult right now,” he said. “Teachers know they have the discretion to add time to an assignment as they feel is appropriate.”

Schools in Nashua and Hudson reopened Tuesday, while most local school districts remained closed Wednesday. Merrimack schools are reopening today.

Some districts have already canceled classes through the week, while others won’t reopen until after the Christmas break.

Lane said the school has also offered its showers for students without power to use in the morning. He said several staff members – including him – are still without power.

The school has tried to use the situation as a teachable moment, Lane said, reminding all students that as much as an inconvenience as this situation may be, there are people who never have electricity.

In Nashua, principals said things are slowly getting back to normal.

Paul Asbell, principal of Pennichuck Middle School, said many students seemed tired when they returned to school Tuesday. Going without power for a long period can be draining, he said.

“I spent some time talking with students Tuesday, and they were just happy to be in a place with the lights turned on and rooms that were warm,” he said.

Asbell said a large chunk of students in north Nashua neighborhoods got their power back Tuesday night, so things had improved by Wednesday.

But because there are still some students without power, the school is granting extensions on homework in special circumstances, he said.

“Right now, we’re just feeling fortunate that we can be back in school,” Asbell said.

Kyle Langille, principal of Bicentennial Elementary School, said there are teachers living in smaller towns who are still without power, but for the most part, students and their families have their power restored.

“This is all part of living in New England,” she said.

Among the staff and the community, Langille said she has seen a lot of generosity. One teacher in the school loaned her generator to another teacher who needed it, she said.

“In some regard, this is bringing out the best in people,” Langille said.