Stonington board preserves April vacation

Stonington - Following last year's controversy over April vacation and the graduation date, the Board of Education has approved a revised calendar for the current school year that preserves April vacation unless there are nine snow days.

Any snow days will be tacked on to the end of the school year which is slated to end June 14. If they exceed nine then days would be taken from the April vacation.,

The school system has already accounted for the five days lost after Hurricane Sandy. Two were added on to the end of the school year and three were placed in the middle of the year, Nov. 6, Feb. 19 and March 28, all days students would have been off from school.

In addition, it was the consensus of the board at Thursday night's meeting to not support a proposal by new Superintendent of Schools Van Riley to reinstate the weeklong February vacation in the 2013-2014 calendar. It had been removed this year.

Board Chairwoman Gail MacDonald said members had concerns about the impact the calendar would have on transportation costs and the regional calendar it shares with surrounding school systems. She said there would be additional child care costs for parents and would result in another disruption of instruction. She said students 2013-14 already have a unusually long Christmas break followed by long Martin Luther King Day weekend.

"Most of us didn't feel there was a compelling reason to make a change," MacDonald said.

The board then agreed to delay a decision on the 2013-14 calendar to a later date.

Following Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, school officials here waited until this spring to determine how to make up the missed days of schools.

Proposals to cancel April vacation or change the date of graduation upset both students and parents. In addition, it was discovered that former Superintendent of Schools Leanne Masterjoseph had created a calendar that violated state law because it did not have enough school days.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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