Weston kids said goodbye to part of their February break after the Board of Education voted to kill three days of vacation to make up for part of the seven school days that were canceled because of bad weather.
Feb. 23, 24 and 25 were eliminated from the vacation and classes will be held. But schools will still be closed Feb. 21 and 22.
Interim Superintendent John Reed said he has never dealt with an issue such as this in his 29 years of school leadership. The last time Weston extensively revised its school calendar was in 1995-96, after the district piled on nine snow days, including one in April. The school year also was extended to June 28 that year.
Reed expressed his desire to add an hour to each school day over several weeks to make up for the missed days. State law, however, limits the number of daily instructional hours for students, so the board was charged with the decision of cutting into vacation.
April break remains unchanged, but if Weston is hit three more times with school cancellations, Reed said the schools will be forced to axe days from spring break as well.
This could put a damper on families who have already made nonrefundable vacation plans. Reed said he was confident that teachers would extend themselves to meet students' needs.
He said school staff will review different options, including special homework packets for students who miss school during those February days. Reed also said he wants students to enjoy themselves and not feel pressured while they're vacationing with family.
Weston is not alone. Easton schools canceled its entire February break, and officials are still trying to secure a date for graduation.
February vacation is not ubiquitous in the United States or in all of Connecticut. Many states in the South, such as Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, provide only a spring and winter break for students. But that does little to assuage the stress of thousands of Connecticut kids who will hit the books when they would probably rather be hitting the beach.
Read a letter from John Reed to parents sent on Thursday here .
What do you think about cutting three days out of February vacation? Is there a better way to handle snow days? Would you prefer the division built-in its snow days like other school districts? Tell us your thoughts in the comment box below.
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