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Superstorms, Snowstorms, School Days

By Marianne Sullivan

Publication: Shore Publishing

Published February 20. 2013 4:00AM   Updated February 20. 2013 1:08PM

Call it Nemo or Charlotte or simply call it a snowstorm, the effect was the same-school closures. Add these snow days to the closings required after Superstorm Sandy, and students will be staying in the classrooms further into June.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ruth Levy has sent an email to residents "to clarify the calendar adjustments as it stands right now for the remainder of the school year." The district school boards have already made changes in this year's school calendar necessitated by the five school days lost to Sandy. State statute requires that students spend 180 days each year in school, and teachers spend 185 days.

"Given the time that schools have been closed for Hurricane Sandy, and snow days, the last day of school is now June 25. Graduation remains a fixed date on June 20. Unfortunately, we now have to take two days back from the April vacation week. School will be in session on April 18 and 19. I know that this may impact plans that families have made, however, these storms have left no choice but for schools to close," Levy's message said.

The 2012-2013 school calendar had five snow days built in to it, and Sandy used them all. Faced with an approaching winter and the possibility of bad weather, the school boards approved a new calendar. What was once a professional day for teachers and a day off for students changed to a half day, giving the district back one snow day. They also decided that should the district need more make-up days because of school closings during the winter months, the days would be taken from the April vacation.

That is now exactly what has happened.

The academic calendar explains the protocol for school closings. Spring recess is subject to change, it says.

"If on March 1, 2013, we have exceeded our emergency days, each additional day will be deducted from the end of spring recess, starting with April 19 and working back to April 15."