Westport Scratches Columbus Day From 2014 School Calendar

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Westport students will be headed to school on Columbus Day beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Photo Credit: File: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT,  Conn. – Starting in 2014, Westport students won’t be off on Columbus Day. The Board of Education on Monday night approved the 2014-15 school calendar, which does not include Columbus Day as a holiday.

As part of recently approved calendar guidelines, Columbus Day, where possible, will be a regular school day for students and teachers after this coming October.

The board earlier this month established permanent school calendar guidelines for the future. These guidelines lay out how the district would make up days missed due to bad weather, taking the guesswork out of how days would be made up.

Under the guidelines, future school calendars — beginning with the 2014-15 year — will include five weather-related cancellation days, meaning up to five school days can be canceled without having to be made up. The district currently builds three days into the calendar.

Also under the guidelines, February and April vacations will be retained. However, if the district sees more than five weather-related or emergency cancellations, days will be made up during April vacation, starting with the first day of that recess.

For example, if in 2014 the district has seven cancellations before April vacation, only two days need to be made up. These two days would be made up on the Monday and Tuesday of April vacation.

Over the past few years, and because of Hurricane Sandy this year, the board was faced with how to make up lost days, prompting the need for permanent calendar guidelines.

Another guideline states that the first day of school will be before Labor Day — a practice that’s already in place. In 2014, the  first day of school for students is set for Aug. 25. The last day of school, for both students and teacher, is set for June 19. If, however, none of the five cancellation days are used, the last day of school will be June 12.

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