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BOE Debates Make-up School Days after Storm

Many favor not using Martin Luther King Day as school make-up day because of a poor perceptions

The is looking for ways to make up instructional school  days lost because of the week off from the October Nor’easter snow storm, Interim Superintendent Dennis Fyffe said during the board meeting at on Monday night.

As a means of compensating for the missed instructional days, Fyffe, who met with senior administration staff earlier Monday, proposed scheduling three makeup days that are firm - Jan. 2, the first day after the winter break and during the February weekend, Tuesday, Jan. 17 and Friday, Jan. 21. 

“That would give us three snow days which we would have essentially in the bank,” Fyffe said.

The district has used all of its five days, one more than the four allotted this year. It is able to do so because its school calendar is 181 days whereas the state’s requirement is 180 instructional days.

What happens if this season brings lots of snow and the district goes beyond the three days?

“I’m proposing that April 9, the Monday after Easter, become a makeup day and consistent with what the calendar says, any additional days would be made up starting April 6, working back,” Fyffe said.

If the district does not use the three days, there are two giveback opportunities in the calendar, according to Fyffe. “One would be to use May 25 and the other is to leave April 9 as a day off. 

The calendar typically defaults to April for makeup days.

“The reason I am proposing February instead of April is that if we take the days off in February and then get hit again (with snow) in March, we would have a terrible time losing much of not all of spring break, depending on how bad the winter is. It seems prudent to me to take the January date and the two in February.”

“Was there a reason that January 16 was not considered?” asked Board Member Jill Weber.

Fyffe said that the district did consider using Martin Luther King Day, or January, 16, but felt that “it would be sensitive in some areas, and found options that would not impact the holiday.”

Weber continued: “there is jeopardy of students missing instructional time because they are away for the Christmas holiday and already planned to be away for the February Holiday,” Weber said.

Vice President Richard Connors said that the honorable thing to do would be to observe the holiday as others chimed into the discussion.

“I agree about the 16th, but these are unusual circumstances, “ said board member Kim Cronin. “It’s not that we are not saying that we would recognize it going forward. I would hope that people understand. I don’t like touching February."

Fyffe said that we would solicit feedback from Parent Teacher Organizations later this week for additional input on on make-up scheduling.

DMM November 09, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Never singled out ANY day over another--I merely said let the parents vote. Sounds like you chose to live in this town but are complaining about it as "shameful." why do you choose to live here if diversity is important to you? It's like saying you value being close to NYC and then moving to the the Poconos and then complaining that it's far. I don't intend to reply again but your argument doesn't make a lot of sense and it seems like you are looking for a reason to be offended when there was no intent of that.
JHargrove November 09, 2011 at 11:36 PM
well don't reply again but why would I specifically look for a problem. Weather related issues were beyond my control and simply specifiying MLK day as the school board did because of its "sensitivity" was not my calling. Other post on this blog have called it a time not to be PC and others have mentioned the importance of not cutting into their spring break. I have the right to move hear for schools, proximity to the city as anyone else does despite race. To be honest, I didnt look at the diversity factor when moving here and that wasnt a factor. We have always been happy here, have fantastic friends and neighbor. We have never had a complaint! Your remarks to date have been the most offensive. School days need to be made up, national holidays should be the last on the calendar...they are holidays for a reason and yes this includes MLK day!
DMM November 09, 2011 at 11:51 PM
Uh were you just looking to get on a tirade or did you even bother to read the posts? No one could interpret anything the way you did unless you have an axe to grind and an agenda. And to add insult to injury I'm a minority and you just went on an attack. That is truly sad.
DMM November 10, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Sunny patch, I think that is an honorable and intelligent suggestion. I for one support learning about MLK and other important historical figures and that's a great idea!
Jen Galante November 10, 2011 at 02:58 AM
I'm with Sunnypatch. Its a great idea and a great move to spend the whole day IN school honoring MLK instead of on the ski slopes or hanging out on main street. Somethings gotta give. I'm half Jewish and I don't take offense to not getting Yom Kippur or chanukah off. Let's all go to the next BOE meeting and voice our opinions there.

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