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It's The Ultimate In Make-Up Tests: BOE Extends School Year To Provide For Snow Days

Last Day Of School No Later Than Friday, June 24

Even the Clinton Board of Education admitted that "you can't please everyone" as members discussed how best to provide for the one extra and any future snow days yet to come this winter.

After much discussion with Superintendent of Schools Jack Cross and Assistant Superintendent Maryann O'Donnell and input from a student and a parent in the audience, the BOE at its Feb. 7 meeting voted to make up for one extra snow day (and any others) by extending the school year up to one week. This could make the last day of school June 24 and not June 17.

Clinton Public Schools have been closed for six snow days, two early dismissals, and three delayed starts so far this winter. Snow days were on Jan. 12, 18, 21, 27 and Feb. 1 and 2.

As Cross explained, there are five snow days already built in to the published school calendar. If five snow days are not used, the last day of school would be June. 10. If just five snow days are used, the last day of school would be June 17.

Right now, there is one extra snow day that needs to be made-up and that could change in a day.

The tricky part arose when it was noted and published that if more than five snow days are used, days would be taken from spring vacation which is currently slated for April 18-22.

Several board members felt that taking just one day from spring vacation, Monday, April 18, would be counter-productive.

"People need to know if their April vacation is secure," said board member Phil Williams.

Board members agreed that those families with booked vacations would still head to Disney World or skiing regardless if school was open for one day.

Teachers, however, would be required to show, said Cross.

"Realistically, if teachers take vacation and school is open, they should be on un-paid day," said Cross.

Since no one is certain what Mother Nature has up her sleeve for the remainder of the winter, it was decided that tacking on the extra days at the end of the year would be a safer bet.

Steve Bristol February 09, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Whatever happened to ethics? We always hear "contractual requirements" as excuses for not making cost reductions and other items. For as long as I can remember, it has been stipulated that any snow days beyond what's figured in will be made up during April vacation. As I write this, those words are still present on the BOE's 2010-2011 calendar. People base plans around decisions made two years previously. Everyone knows the make-up day rules and plan April vacations knowing that days may 'disappear,' and in what order. However, no such allowances are made for end of year plans, because people are told the year won't go later than a certain date. Conceivably, a costly choice could need to be made between graduation (TMS or Eliot) or long-made plans. In actuality, plans already changed because of stated rules can be just as costly. Take the high road. Adhere to stated schedules (this one was approved 2/2/09) and immediately reverse the snow day decision. I would have stated exactly this in person had I not had a previously scheduled conflict.
Steve Bristol February 09, 2011 at 02:24 PM
I used the word "ethics"in my first line when I should have used "integrity."
C Hennessy February 09, 2011 at 02:42 PM
I agree with Mr. Bristol. If the BOE is going to establish a schedule to be used that far in advance then they need to honor that schedule. If the BOE cannot honor what they have voted on and established it shows up as a lack of integrity and that is not what creates trust and unity in a town. Other towns are making up snow days out of school vacations, why can't Clinton do the same considering that is what was established to begin with?
Steve Bristol February 09, 2011 at 05:38 PM
I also wonder why 'several Board members' feel that taking final exams in late June is any more productive than learning the material in late April. It was apparently still fine to keep the rule in place when the calendar was revised last August. Each successive year---our family has been in Clinton schools since '93---we've experienced delays, dismissals or cancellations based upon seemingly softer and softer criteria. This is southern New England, we get nasty Winters here. Those two items should tell people that there's at least a chance April vacation will get shortened. To be truthful, I never understood why students/teachers need three separate week-long (or longer) vacations within four months anyway. As a student, I always would have preferred an earlier end date (and knowing I was done for the year) to another week off potentially during bad weather and having to return the following Monday.
resident February 11, 2011 at 01:44 AM
Until parents take back the decision making nothing is going to change. The BOE has proved over and over they have no ethics. I believe the rules state that the extra days will be taken away from April vacation, this however creates a problem for the teachers who make plans, refuse to deviate from them, and are not forced to.
Karen Linder February 14, 2011 at 07:05 PM
The BOE's flip flop on their own established schedule is indeed frustrating. Fifteen students are part of the First Church of Christ's mission trip which is scheduled to depart on June 19th. Security deposits have already been paid. We carefully made our plans based on the BOE's published schedule which stated that additional snow days would be drawn from April vacation versus the recently announced extension in June. Yes, we have had alot of snow days this year, but the BOE had already made and committed itself to a schedule that the community believed could be relied upon and which did provide a plan for additional snow days.

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