Stonington superintendent to lobby for longer February break

Stonington - Superintendent of Schools Van Riley is again recommending that the school board reinstate February vacation in the 2014-15 school calendar.

The proposal is one of several calendar options that Riley is scheduled to present to the board when it meets at 7 p.m. today at the high school. Last year, the board rejected his recommendation to bring back February vacation.

Students this year have Feb. 17 (Presidents Day) and Feb. 18 off instead of the entire week.

Riley said he is again recommending the change because school nurses have told him that an entire week off would help alleviate the spread of the flu at a critical time of the year.

"Our nurses have really convinced me," he said.

In addition, he said parents have also asked him to reinstate the week off so they can take family vacations. He added that the plan would only add three days to the two that students and staff already have off that week.

His recommended plan also calls for retaining the two-week break at Christmas.

Several years ago, the school board eliminated February vacation in favor of the four-day Presidents Day weekend break as they joined other area school systems in using a regional calendar. In part, the regional calendar was designed to help them collaborate on teacher training days.

But Riley said area magnet schools and others have their own schedules now.

The calendar options are available on the school board agenda portion of the school system's website, at www.stoningtonschools.org.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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