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School Calendar On The Agenda



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School Calendar On The Agenda

By Eliza hallabeck

With the cancellation of this week’s Board of Education meeting, board Chair William Hart said he expects the issue of the school calendar to be brought up at his board’s next meeting.

While the town dealt with the aftermath of Storm Alfred, which passed through Newtown on October 29–30, school was canceled for the full week of October 31 to November 4.

The regularly scheduled Tuesday, November 1, Board of Education meeting was canceled due to residents still being without power, or in some cases, unable to leave their houses. On Tuesday morning, Mr Hart said it was his board’s obligation to hold meetings when the public has the option to attend.

The start of the 2011-12 school year was also postponed due to Tropical Storm Irene, and having school canceled this week adds another five days that will need to be made up within the school calendar.

Mr Hart said he expects his board to take up the topic during its next meeting, with the board’s next regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 15. Mr Hart said he looked into holding a special meeting next Tuesday to make up for the lost meeting this week, but this Tuesday, November 8, is Election Day.

Multiple issues surround the topic of altering the school calendar to make up the missed days. Mr Hart said his main concern would be making sure the school district has the option to make up lost days after the calendar’s scheduled April break, in the event school has to be canceled due to high temperatures or other weather-related incidents.

As reported in The Bee previously, the average school year has six days of school missed during the school year, according to Mr Hart, on average, four of those days are missed due to snow. Students have already missed nine days this school year, between postponing the start of the school year due to Tropical Storm Irene and not attending school this week due to Storm Alfred. As Mr Hart pointed out on Tuesday, the winter snow season still has yet to begin.

Following the start of the school year the school board voted during its September 20 meeting to add February 22, 23, and 24 to the calendar as school days, rather than hold those days as part of the scheduled February break. It also added a half-day of school to the end of the calendar, pushing the projected last day of school to June 14. In the event of further school cancellations, the last day of school will remain a half-day but will be moved back through June accordingly, according to the motion made during that meeting.

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