To make up for days lost due to Hurricane Sandy students in Three Village will now attend school for three days during February break along with the Friday before and Tuesday after Memorial Day, school district officials announced Tuesday.
The Board of Education voted 6-0 to accept that plan, explained by Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich at a special BOE meeting Tuesday night.
"A lot of thought went into providing our recommendations regarding the make-up of these days," she said. "We wanted to be careful to avoid any religious commitments over the March holiday. We wanted to look at a way that might have the least impact on our community."
February break, originally scheduled for Feb. 18 through Feb. 22, will be reduced to the first two days. Students will attend school on Feb. 20, Feb. 21, and Feb. 22. Students will also attend school on May 24 and May 28 – days which they would have been given off if no snow days were used.
The district's plan, however, does hinge on snow days. Originally, the school calendar had 183 school days, with three built-in snow days. The make-up plan assumes that the district will only use one snow day this coming winter.
"We're hoping for no snow days," school board president Dr. Jeff Kerman said. "We have snow days, we have other probelms."
The use of February break days is in line with many other school districts on Long Island.
"The value of this particular arrangement was trying to get least impact on the students and religious holidays later on," Kerman said. "If you go into the March break, you run into Easter and Passover. February is what most of the other districts are doing."
When asked whether student absences for pre-planned February vacations would be considered excused or unexcused absences, Pedisch said such absences are generally considered unexcused. She also said the Board of Education could choose to examine the high school attendance requirements to make exceptions in light of the circumstances following Hurricane Sandy.
Asked how the February break could impact faculty and staff members' time off, Pedisich and Kerman said it could not be discussed yet. Pedisich said there are legal issues at stake and Kerman said it's a personnel issue at this time and could not be openly discussed. The Three Village Teachers Association could not immediately be reached for comment.
Pedisich also said the district has petitioned the College Board to push Advanced Placement exams back to allow students not only in Three Village but also in schools across Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut sufficient time to learn their AP material.