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School Make-Up Days Expected to be Set Tuesday

These days are because of school closures during Superstorm Sandy.

The board of education is expected to decide Tuesday whether students will be likely to have their spring break when they determine how to use make-up days after the school was closed for more than a week after Superstorm Sandy.

At the last board of education meeting, Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder presented several options for changes to the calendar, with the understanding that some of the schools were closed for six days, and others were closed for seven days.

The Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Hillside Intermediate School, Bradley Gardens Primary, Hamilton Primary, John F. Kennedy Primary, Milltown Primary and Van Holten Primary were all closed for six days due to the hurricane, but got two of those days back by being open on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, both originally scheduled as days off.

From there, Schilder said, they had three snow days built in, so those schools only have to make up one day.

Eisenhower Intermediate and Crim Primary were closed seven days for the hurricane, and open Nov. 8 and Nov. 9. Accounting for the three make-up days in the calendar, they have to make up two days.

The Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School and Adamsville Primary lost six days to the hurricane and were only open on Nov. 9, so they also have to make up two days.

Board members expressed concerns about plans that would extend the school year, saying it is difficult to make arrangements for graduation—particularly for those needing to make flight plans—if they can’t be sure when it is.

Most said they prefer some sort of hybrid of two of Schilder’s recommendations.

One proposal uses Feb. 15 as make-up days for all schools, and April 1 as the make-up day for the four schools that lost two extra days. From there, because it uses the snow days already built in, if additional snow days are needed, they are taken from spring break and June 21, the day after the planned graduation.

The other plan is similar, but it eliminates Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21, as a day off, and uses that as a make-up day, as well as Feb. 18 for those four latter schools requiring the extra day. From there, Feb. 15 and several days during spring break are designated if extra snow days are needed.

But conversations went back and forth as to whether it is appropriate to eliminate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 21, and the ramifications to students of removing days from spring break.

Residents said they think the younger students really need the break in the middle of the spring to recharge, but are also concerned about teacher inservice days and whether there is enough time to hold the ones they need.

Schilder is expected to present a new plan that is a combination of the two, and the board is planning to make a final decision at Tuesday’s meeting.

The meeting will be held at 8 p.m. at the Harmon V. Wade Administration Building on Newmans Lane.

Tell us in the comments what you think the board should decide, and how they can best cope with the make-up days.

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