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Wilton Parents Differ On Possible School Year Change

While some parents are OK with a proposed change in the Wilton Schools calender to remove most of the February break, others think it's "crazy."
While some parents are OK with a proposed change in the Wilton Schools calender to remove most of the February break, others think it's "crazy." Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

WILTON, Conn. – Maggie Dobbins said it would be just fine if Wilton Public Schools does away with much of the planned February vacation next year.

Dobbins, president of the Wilton High School Parent-Teacher Association, says she sees the need of Wilton schools officials who want to make extra time in case of nasty weather, one of the reasons the Board of Education is considering altering the 2013-14 school year calendar.

“I agree with them. We’re living in the Northeast. You have to account for some snow,” said Dobbins, who grew up in New Jersey. “I feel it’s important to have a couple of bad weather days in the schedule when you’re living in the Northeast. I can count the number on my hands when we didn’t take snow days.”

The Wilton school board is weighing a change that would remove the last four days of the February 2014 vacation break, which takes place during the week of Presidents Day (Feb. 17-21, 2014). The April vacation, scheduled for April 14-18, is included. The school year would begin Aug. 26, 2013 and conclude June 10, 2014. 

Wilton Schools Superintendent Gary Richards said the changes are being considered to offer more flexibility for inclement weather. The district has had to amend the calendar the last two school years because of Hurricane Irene in August 2011, a freak snowstorm in October 2011 and Hurricane Sandy last November.

Dobbins also said eliminating the February break is good for teachers and consistency in the curriculum.

Dobbins said she’s heard from parents who disagree with her and want the February break to remain, especially those who spend that week visiting colleges with their children.

The Wilton Daily Voice reader Laura Drewes, posting on the site's Facebook page, was among those questioning the change.  

"Are you kidding? That's crazy," she said.

The board is expected to vote on the change at its Feb. 7 meeting.

What do you think of the Wilton Schools' proposal to reduce the February break in next year's calendar? Let us know by leaving a comment below. You can also share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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