Westport students get an extra day off in February
WESTPORT — Students can look forward to an extra day off over February break in the 2017-18 school year, thanks to a new effort to unify school calendars statewide.
Under Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer’s proposal to the Board of Education on Monday, students will have Feb. 16-23 off for the February recess. Palmer suggested the students have Feb. 16 off — a day which was scheduled for classes under previous superintendent, Elliot Landon’s, schedule — because the Cooperative Educational Services Regional Uniform School Calendar mandates students do not attend school that day. The day will serve as a day of professional development for teachers.
“In the original calendar, adopted by this board on Feb. 16, we had school in session, and we are not committed to do that, so I’m just looking for an easy swap,” Palmer said.
To make up for students having the extra day off in February, Palmer recommended removing the professional development day on Jan. 12, before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
“It means that families would have a three-day Martin Luther King holiday, instead of a four; however, they would benefit in terms of an extended February break.
“They would be able to leave Thursday night, Friday morning and have that entire following week off, so they would have almost 10 days,” Palmer said.
The change would put Westport in complete alignment with the regional calendar. It has no bearing on union discussions because there is no change in days worked.
The school board didn’t vote on the schedule change, but was leaning toward accepting the suggestion and told Palmer she could send out a notification to the district alerting parents the change would be decided at the next meeting.
“I think, at that point, it gives people 13 months’ notice, and you can’t even buy a flight 13 months ahead of time,” Chairman Michael Gordon said.
“Just a minor adjustment with a year’s notice,” Palmer said.