FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After missing nine days of school to major storms, Fairfield’s Public Schools are now just two snow days away from losing a portion of their April vacation.
Fairfield’s last day of school was originally scheduled June 13. State law requires all school years to end by June 30. Fairfield had 11 days available to add at the end of the year to make up for cancellations. Early dismissals and delayed openings count as a day in session, and do not need to be made up at the end of the year.
The school district canceled six days while the town dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last fall. With the three days lost to this weekend’s snowstorm, Fairfield only has two buffer days left at the end of the year to schedule make-up days. More than two snow days mean that some days would have to be made up in another way.
The Board of Education’s official policy is to make up extra days during April vacation. But after Hurricane Sandy last fall, the school board discussed a few other options for making up school days.
One option would be to cut up to two days from the school year itself. Fairfield has 182 days scheduled, and needs only 180 days to meet state requirements. But Superintendent David Title explained to the Board of Education in November that since those two days were negotiated for and paid for in the teachers’ union contract, he would recommend cutting them only as a “last resort.”
“I’m sure there are families who can occupy their kids, or would like to go away,” Title told the board in November. “But we also have families that are counting on us for those 182 days.”
Another option could be to cancel one or more holiday observances. The school board’s policy only requires them to close school for holidays in December and January. President’s Day would be too soon to arrange to have school, but Good Friday or Memorial Day could legally be a school day if necessary.
Fairfield’s last day of school is now expected to be on June 26. Any changes would be made by the Board of Education in a public vote, and only if the two additional snow days are called.
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