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New Canaan Schools To Look At Makeup Days For Sandy

Bad weather from Hurricane Sandy has forced the New Canaan Board of Education to look at changes in the 2012-13 school calendar.
Bad weather from Hurricane Sandy has forced the New Canaan Board of Education to look at changes in the 2012-13 school calendar. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

NEW CANAAN, Conn.  – Once again, the New Canaan Board of Education is faced with making changes to the school calendar after the town was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. 

“We’ve been here before — too many times,” said Alison Bedula, the newly elected school board chairwoman.

The district has lost six days due to Hurricane Sandy that will have to be made up somewhere. Although Bedula and others would love for a repeat of last winter with no serious winter weather beyond October, she's not expecting that again and said the district will have to plan accordingly.

"We don't have a crystal ball," she said.

Bedula said she has talked with Superintendent Mary Kolek about the possible changes and said the school board will receive recommendations at the board’s Nov. 19 meeting. No decision will be made until December, so the board, residents and school staff can review them and make comments, she said. 

While the district had a four-day cushion in the schedule that could have the school year conclude June 21, Bedula said the board must find two additional days. Those options include making Feb. 15, a professional development day, into a half-day for students; cutting two days off the 182-day schedule and maintaining the state-required 180-day year; or making some February or April vacation days into school days.

Many parents and teachers find students do better with some breaks, Bedula said.

“We hope to come up with an answer soon,” said Bedula, who was elected board chairman Monday. “I haven’t heard from the parents. People are still recuperating” from Sandy.

School board member Penny Rashin said she spoke with one parent who preferred not extending the school year deeper into June and might prefer cutting some of the earlier vacations.  

“Parents have a lot of different opinions,” Rashin said. “We’ll get the recommendations and put them out there."

What changes to the New Canaan Schools schedule would you like to see? How concerned are you about possibly losing the February or April vacations? Let us know by leaving a comment below. You can also speak out on our Facebook page.

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