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Stamford School Board Won't Touch February Break

Geoff Alswanger of the Stamford Board of Education would like to "think out of the box" to replace lost school time.
Geoff Alswanger of the Stamford Board of Education would like to "think out of the box" to replace lost school time. Photo Credit: Anthony Buzzeo

STAMFORD, Conn. — The February break for Stamford students was temporarily put on the chopping block during Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.

After losing six school days to Hurricane Sandy, any further days off would come out of the April vacation. Some officials said students would benefit from being in the classroom in February before state tests are held in March.

If April vacation were canceled, there would be a long stretch of time without any days off and would keep the students in the classroom before the standardized tests, administrators and teachers' union officials said.

The Parent-Teacher Council of Stamford released a poll asking parents when they would like future weather days made up, with 56 percent saying February would be best.

Board member Gary Klein was against the change, saying that parents like knowing that the February break will not be touched so they can schedule vacations, college visits and other events.

Board member Richard Lyons dislikes taking days away from the February vacation because more snow days are still possible in winter.

If the board looks at changing the schedule for the end of the year, it should look at creative ways to make up lost time, board member Geoff Alswanger said. He suggested reaching the state required minimum of 900 classroom hours by extending days rather than adding days to get to 180.

“I would really love to think out of the box before we disrupt family time,” Alswanger said.

The four lost days were already accounted for at the end of the school year; the fifth was made up when the schools reduced the year from 181 days to 180; and the sixth was made up on Veterans Day .

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