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From the look of the forecast, Erin Furey-Patterson of Weston figured that Wednesday would be a snow day for her two young children. With Boston bracing for up to 10 inches of snow, state employees were sent home early Tuesday, and Logan Airport canceled flights in droves. By mid-afternoon city schools had already been canceled for the next day. But Furey-Patterson woke up to find that the powerful storm, which dropped more than a foot of snow across a swath of towns south of Boston, had dealt only a glancing blow to others. In her town of Weston, only a few inches had fallen, and schools were open after all.
But schools were closed in many communities that escaped the storm’s wrath, including Newton, Cambridge, and Somerville. Like Boston, many school systems announced the closings before the storm arrived, part of a growing trend aimed at giving parents more time to make other arrangements for their children.