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Milford Board of Ed Extends School Year

February break has been shortened and four school days have been added in June.

 

The Board of Education voted last night to shorten February break for Milford Public Schools. Classes will be in session on Thursday, February 21st and Friday, February 22nd.

Additionally, the school year has been extended from June 17th to June 21st.

This makes up for the six days of school that were missed due to Hurricane Sandy.

If there is any snow days or further reasons for school closure between now and June 21st, the Board of Ed will need to re-evaluate the situation.

Milford Public Schools will be releasing a statement later today with more information on this issue. Stay tuned. 

Editor's Note: The original dates regarding February were inaccurate.

CtMom430 November 14, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I'm a bit confused.... our academic calendars show that February break is scheduled the 18-22nd so the kids are already in school on the 14th or 15th. I think you might have your dates wrong?? Please advise~
Ryan Sartor (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Hi Tracy: The original dates regarding February were inaccurate. You are correct. Classes will be in session on 14th, 15th and 21st, 22nd. Vacation is week beginning February 18th.
Concerned Parent November 14, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I don't understand why they cannot simply use the entire Feb break to make up the time as they did for Irene...This is ridiculous...
David Chesler November 14, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I'm new here so rather than grumble that I'd rather have had a delayed opening than break up vacation week, or wonder about other districts that start and end later, or wonder if the declared state of emergency gives more flexibility, or wonder why there are so many odd non-instruction "Personal Development" days off, I'll leave it that I do not yet understand the wisdom of this decision. What has been the practice and experience in years past (not counting the most recent snowless winter)? What are other local districts doing about this same problem? (On the other hand, that school is closed on major Jewish holidays [as opposed to treating them like unexcused truant absences like where we've just left] was a significant factor that we moved here, so I shouldn't question too hard.)
Concerned Parent November 14, 2012 at 05:17 PM
@David, last year due to hurricane Irene, it was decided to use February vacation to make up the days lost due to the storm. This avoided the school year from being extended. In this case, I'm wondering why they simply don't do the same this year. If this extension is due to personal development, that's for the individual and not the school and if required should be scheduled so there is no impact to the district calendar.
Susan Glennon November 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM
There has been a specific plan in place for two years now as to how the making up of school closures would be handled. The plan was put in place because two years ago, when there were numerous days off due to actual snow, the then board of ed decided in early February to eliminate February vacation for that year. Parents were upset about the short notice. The plan that was then devised, and has been noted on the calender since then, gives prior notice to all how school closings will be made up. Granted, the decision made last night was tweaked a bit, but it essentially follows the plan. In this case specifically, with day 1 of February vacation being a holiday (Presidents' Day) there are only 4 remaining days anyway. We need to make up 6 now, with the possibility a hard winter will be more closures.
Concerned Parent November 14, 2012 at 06:14 PM
With all respect, extending the school district calendar because some people are upset is ridiculous.
David Chesler November 14, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I see @Susan. (The old calendar is coming off the site but may still be up at http://www.milforded.org/uploaded/MPSCalendarInfo/2012_13_Academic_Calendar_Approved_3_12_12.pdf ) The main tweak seems to be taking the days from the end, rather than beginning, of February break. I didn't realize the "reserve" of 3 snow days meant zero snow days were built into the schedule. Not counting hurricanes, is that a reasonable assumption here? Is June 21 a hard contractual-stop last day? (I understand it's custom, but I've seen that that deadline more often be June 30 elsewhere.) Maybe they should build in more weather (formerly snow) days, and when they know they've already used 5 before winter has started prefer delayed openings to closings on days like last week when the streets were cleared and the weather advisory over by early morning. Agreed if February vacation has to be cancelled that it's better announced sooner than later. Two years ago was there good attendance on the days that had been planned to be February vacation?
Susan Glennon November 14, 2012 at 07:07 PM
@Ed, I didn't say the school district calendar was extended because people were upset. I said (or meant if I wasn't clear) a PLAN was put in place on how to handle weather closures in the future because parents were upset two years ago when Feb. vacation was cancelled with only a few weeks notice (there was no plan at that time).
Concerned Parent November 14, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I'm sorry Susan..This is ridiculous...Why not simply take the whole week and then pull from April vacation if needed...? -Here is how the calendar is changing: Four (4) instructional days will be added to the end of the current school year. Originally, our last day of school was to be Monday, June 17th. With 4 instructional days now being added to the end of the calendar, the last day of school for students is now set for Friday, June 21st. February Vacation – 2 Days Will be Removed; School Will Now be In Session Thursday & Friday Originally, February vacation was scheduled for the week of Feb. 18-22. In order to make up the remaining 2 days we’ve already lost due to the storm, school will now be in session on Thursday, Feb. 21st and Friday, Feb. 22nd. If additional snow/school closure days are needed, we will continue to deduct days from the February vacation. Further, if we use all of the February vacation days, we will then begin to take back days from the April vacation beginning with April 19th. In the event more days are needed, days will be added in June -- not to go beyond June 28th.
milfordmommy November 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I am so confused! I understand we have to make up the 2 days we had off but why the other 4?
Susan Glennon November 15, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Students are required to be in school 180 days. Schools were cancelled a total of 5 days for storm Sandy and 1 day for the nor'easter. All 6 days need to be made up. The calendar has no "snow" days built into it.
Ella Nelson November 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Since we live in New England and clearly have unpredictable weather, February break should be automatically eliminated so the kids don't have to sit in school in June when it is hot and no one is going to be doing anything productive. Personally if I had a trip scheduled this year during February break, my kids just wouldn't be going to school that week. It is not fair to allow people to assume they have a break, make plans, and then take it away. Build a calendar around the fact that we know we have rough weather. It isn't too tough to plan ahead.
JE November 15, 2012 at 02:41 PM
And this is exactly what the fine print on the bottom of the calender says. My family has the calender right on our board since last spring when it was released. We've known February break can be taken away and plan for that possibility. Others should too.
Concerned Parent November 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM
@Susan...Parents are fully aware that their children are required to be in school for 180 days...However, the way the BOE has agreed for those lost days is extremely convoluted...
David Chesler November 15, 2012 at 04:54 PM
@JE that's what the fine print said, but allowing only 3 (now tweaked to 4 by moving the PD day from June 18 to June 24) weather days made it very likely they'd have to open school on February 19 (now 22). Back in my day we had Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday but no Martin Luther King Day and no February vacation, so I don't get it, but as Dr. Feser said when schools were re-opened as soon as possible after Sandy, kids like consistency and predictability, so if there is going to be February vacation, it should be maintained. Maybe any of the 180 instruction days are interchangeable, but a week's vacation is qualitatively different from long weekends. Again, what have winters been like around here? How many snow days are typically needed? (Snowfall is only one factor -- topography, how most students get to school, the customary schedule of road clearing, and expectations all figure into it.) Appealing to group wisdom, what do other districts do? This is the first I've come across that cutting into the vacation weeks was the first resort.
JE November 15, 2012 at 05:26 PM
@Ed - why don't you lighten up a bit. You talk like your opinion is the only one that matters and what others think is inconsequential. "milfordmommy" specifically asks here why the "other 4 days" have to be made up and it seems that's what was answered. This board is a group of citizens who volunteer their time and work off the information presented. You obviously don't agree with this plan and that's your right. But you've made your point several times over. Personally, I think one school week off between Jan. and June is important and want that for my children whether or not we take a family vacation. Lots of my friends agree. If there are so many days off that they can't all be either taken from one vacation or added at the end of the year then a combination is the only answer.
JE November 15, 2012 at 05:33 PM
@David Chester, I think the past few years are the exception to what we have seen here in the relatively recent past (10-12 years??) A really bad snowy winter two years ago. Irene and a freak snow storm in October last year, similar this year. The last two years the most significant issues have not been snow, they've been hurricane type storms. People don't like to see students in school too late in June because it gets hot and the building have no air conditioning. Personally, I think 3 snow days is a reasonable assumption and tacking the first 3 onto the end of the school year is the way this school district does it right now. I agree looking at all the holidays and other days off should be looked at to see if there is any that can be eliminated.
David Chesler November 15, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Yes, since school isn't in session in the summer, it makes sense not to air condition the buildings. (I think I got into computers because the computer lab was the only room in my high school with air conditioning :-) ) I salute the wisdom of the BoE on weather. I thought a later start date would result in cooler days than an earlier finish date, but looking at the numbers at http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/daily/USCT0121?climoMonth=6, days by average high temperature, the days when the expected high temperature is 80 degrees are 6/24-6/28 and 8/22-8/27. By closing by 6/20 we spare the students average highs of 79, same as by opening after 9/1. 77 or less can be expected before 6/16 and after 9/5 -- in other words, it's pretty well balanced already to minimize the hottest days. (Something about those school years, even when you get only 2 or 3 weeks vacation a year from 40 hour weeks, there's something exciting about the end of June, and grounding about the beginning of September. The only difference is old people take a longer view than teenagers, so when the kids were excited about last week's snow day I said "You already got out of bed, and you're going to have to make that day up sometime". One answered, further confirming about heat, "Yeah, but that won't be until June, and we don't work so hard when it's hot." (I thought it was short time left, not temperature, that made those June days easy, but I could be wrong.)
Concerned Parent November 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM
@JE...I'm simply questioning the manner is which the days are being broken out...My point was simple and not over the top...why not simply use the entire Feb vacation, just as we did last year. Frankly, it makes no difference to me how they do, but it seems they are making something so simple so complicated..
David Chesler November 15, 2012 at 09:40 PM
@Ed, they posted a calendar, so that's simple, and they posted the rules, for those who like complicated. What would be gained by taking the days from the February vacation first? If we have a few more snow days it won't matter, but IMHO if there's a choice it's better to have that vacation than to have a summer vacation that is 10 weeks rather than 9 weeks off. Breaks that span an entire week get the weekends at both ends, which is better for traveling and such.
DC November 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I believe you are mistaken. Irene hit on Sat. Aug. 27 to Sun. Aug. 28. School was supposed to start on Wed. Aug 31 so we missed 3 days plus maybe one more the day after labor day due to Irene. We had Feb. break in Milford last year...it was the year before that we lost February break due to all the snow.
Concerned Parent November 16, 2012 at 08:05 PM
@David, Thank you for your humble response.

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