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Waterford takes back one February vacation day

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: theday.com

Published February 13. 2013 6:00PM   Updated February 13. 2013 11:45PM

Waterford — In order to gain a day in case one is needed for future weather-related school closures, Waterford’s superintendent of schools has decided to hold school next Tuesday, originally a February vacation day.

February vacation was scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday, but the district has already lost eight full days of school due to Superstorm Sandy and last weekend’s blizzard.

“Not knowing where the winter will take us, I felt it was important to take next Tuesday. We already have Monday off, and April vacation is a key time for us to move in to the new high school,” Superintendent Jerome Belair said Wednesday.

“I was just looking to see where we could gain a day here and there, and if I rolled the dice, I would miss the chance to take next Tuesday.”

He said if needed, other options, including holding school on Memorial Day or Good Friday, are available.

In a letter to parents posted on the school district’s website, Belair said state statute requires 180 full days of school by June 30 and that he is concerned about fulfilling that responsibility. As it stands now, school will be in session through June 25.

“We’re left with very little room,” he said.

The State Department of Education does not allow school districts to extend the school day or to hold school on weekends.

Students with nonrefundable family vacation plans will be provided excused absences for Tuesday, and assignments will be provided by teachers before vacation. Students are expected to complete all classwork assigned to them and should turn in their completed work upon their return to school.

“The first day of spring is March 20th and I am looking forward to it!” Belair wrote in closing.

j.hanckel@theday.com

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