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School calendar revisions preserve February, April vacations

Published 7:42 am, Tuesday, December 4, 2012
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Westport students and their families will still be able to hit the slopes in Gstaad in February; and they'll still have the chance to see the Eiffel Tower or tour the Coliseum in April.

The Westport school district's traditional winter and spring breaks will take place as planned during the current school year, after the Board of Education unanimously voted Monday night to make up the five school days lost during and after Superstorm Sandy by rescheduling two staff development days and using three days already designated in the school calendar for snow-related cancellations. Winter break runs through the week starting Feb. 18; the spring recess runs the week starting April 15.

One of the staff development days will be moved to a Saturday in 2013. The other development day will be split into two extended days for teachers, which will comprise half-days of instruction for students and then staff training during the remainder of those two days.

"None of this is ideal, but given the alternatives, it's a reasonable compromise," said Board of Education Chairwoman Elaine Whitney.

If no more snow days are used, the school year will end Thursday, June 20. One snow day would push the school year's end back a day to Friday, June 21. Two additional snow days would lead to a finale on Monday, June 24. Three more snow days would delay the last day until Tuesday, June 25.

Board of Education members and Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon made no contingency plan Monday if four or more extra snow days are used.

The calendar revisions approved by the school board maintains the 182 school days scheduled for students and 188 work days for teaching staff during the 2012-13 academic year.

"One hundred and eighty-two days was our No. 1 priority," said Board of Education Vice Chairman Michael McGovern. "I don't think it's asking the world to ask families to come in for those two days [June 21 and 24], if, in fact, we need them."

pschott@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 118; twitter.com/paulschott