School systems make up snow days in different ways

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NORTH BRANFORD–As the snow continues to pile up, so too are snow days for Connecticut’s school systems. And now the issue is how to make them up without disrupting vacations.

Most school systems in greater New Haven are making up snow days in June. In North Branford, however, students, their parents and teachers have all eyes on this week.

North Branford schools have three snow days built into this year’s school calendar.

“To date, right now, we have met the three day mark, which means our next missed school day will take a day away from the February break,” said North Branford superintendent of schools Scott Schoomaker.

The school system is scheduled to be on break all next week, but there’s talk of more snow Thursday night.  If there is another postponement in North Branford this week, school would be in session next Friday, February 20.

“We always have voice messages and people waiting when we make a decision,” said Schoonmaker with a smile. “And, usually they’re not here to tell us we did a great job.”

An unscheduled abbreviated February break is not new to North Branford.

“Last year, we have seven days that we lost prior to the February break,” noted Schoonmaker. “We ended up backing out four days and having a one day break.”

April is a vacation North Branford simply will not touch. Snow days beyond next week would be tacked on to the calendar in late June.

West Haven schools will not likely lose any April vacation time either.

“We will go until the last day in June, that we can go ’til, and then start taking away from our April vacation, if need be,” said West Haven superintendent of schools Neil Cavallaro.

By law, June 30 is the last day schools can be in session in Connecticut.

West Haven has used five snow days thus far, but at least one administrator is counting on a few more.

“Our high school principal (Pamela Gardner) will pray for three more days because, ideally, they always like the high school graduation on a Friday.” Cavallaro says it seems in recent years that school is being canceled two days at a time, rather than one. He says that hurts his community, where four of the six elementary schools don’t have full-day kindergarten.

“So, when I call for a delayed opening, I have kindergartners who haven’t been to school since last Friday.”

Related stories:

Too many snow days may cause students to lose April vacation

New London Schools to remain closed on Friday for fourth day

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