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Blame it on Superstorm Sandy, which closed schools for five days from Oct. 29 through Nov. 2. The Region 4 School District must now adjust its school calendar in hopes of recouping those lost instructional days. The district's boards of education are expected to vote tonight (Thursday, Dec. 6) on a recommended revision that, if approved, will add a half day for students in January and then absorb four of the five snow days built into the calendar.
Two weeks ago, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ruth Levy met with the Supervision District's calendar committee and presented a recommendation, which the committee approved. The committee, in turn, will present it to the full boards of education when they meet in joint session at 6:30 p.m. tonight at John Winthrop Middle School.
This is the recommendation: Friday, Jan. 18 was originally scheduled as a day off for students and a professional development day for teachers. It will now become a half day for students and then a half day for professional development. Schools are closed Monday, Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.
The remaining four days to be recouped will be taken as snow days.
Levy explained, "We currently have five snow days built into the calendar. We will use four of those days for instructional time lost because of Sandy. We will make up the fifth day by using Jan. 18. This will leave us one snow day for use during the rest of the winter. We are trying to protect the April break."
Should the district need additional snow days, they will be subtracted from the April recess, which is presently scheduled for April 15 through April 19.
Levy said, "We explain this at the bottom of our calendar. It's bold, in red, and underlined. It reads, 'Spring recess subject to change: If on March 1, 2013 we have exceeded our emergency days, each additional day will be deducted from the end of spring recess, starting with April 19 and working back to April 15.'"
This recommendation, if approved, leaves only one emergency day in the calendar, and Levy admits that's a little tight, but the good news is, it will move up the last day of school from June 25 to June 24.