[Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Dec. 1. It was set to post this morning for layout purposes.]
Update, Dec. 13
Members of the are set to vote on the 2012-2013 calendar at their meeting tonight.
At the board's Nov. 22 meeting, newly elected member John Convertito suggested the school board discuss eliminating February break at tonight's meeting.
Since Patch published the previous story on possibly eliminating February vacation from the school calendar, Superintendent of Schools David Title published a blog post with his thoughts on the matter.
While he said he did not feel strongly about the calendar, he's participated in enough calendar debates to know that for any proposed change, "about one-third of people are in favor, one-third against, and one-third who don’t care" -- and that includes both educators and families, Title said.
"Ultimately it comes down to what a community values," he added. Whether that's keeping February break or letting school out earlier in June remains to be seen.
See what members of the community have said so far regarding the possible elimination of February vacation in the original post on the issue.
Original Story, Dec. 1
Could February break be eliminated from the school calendar, beginning in the 2012-2013 school year?
That’s a question the Board of Education will be discussing at its Dec. 13 meeting, according to Board Chair Pamela Iacono.
The idea was suggested by newly elected board member John Convertito at the body’s Nov. 22 meeting. Fellow board member Tim Kery posted the following on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon:
“The 2012-2013 school year calendar will be before the BoE for a vote at our next meeting on Dec. 13th. One suggestion, at the previous Board of Education meeting, was to eliminate February vacation – designated from February 18-22, 2013 – and shorten the school year by five days. This would make the last day of school June 11th instead of June 18th.”
So far, residents' reaction has been mixed. Those who supported the elimination of February vacation in favor of the school year ending earlier in June had the following to say:
- Gina Guarnieri Bucciferro: “I think it's a good idea. The kids are just back from Christmas break and then Feb. break comes pretty quickly.”
- Tracie Valentino: “I would love to see Fairfield lose the Feb break, and instead of April, have a week in March. I know that would impact the CMTs; however the Feb break is so close to the holiday break, and going straight through to April is too long. Because it's a state test, do the CMTs have to be in March? If we lost the Feb break, could we have the CMTs in mid-Feb, and do a mid-March break?”
- Mara Maffucci Miller: “I was a single working mom when my kids were little. Too early in the year to take a week off, and for those who did not have the funds for ski weekends, or trips to warm weather, it was a very hard week to cover for childcare. Give the kids a longer summer vacation!”
Those opposed to cutting February break said:
- James McCusker: “That would blow. I would rather give up April break than Feb, it's the only chance to get a break from the cold of winter.”
- Mary Ellen Brennan-Connelly: “Since president's day falls into Feb break we are only talking about 4 days. Many families do take advantage of this time to ski or go away. Getting out earlier in June will cause the same childcare issues for people as camps and other activities won't be happening yet. Also, odds are likely we would have snow days that week anyways. Not in favor.”
- Jeanneth Wagner: “Students need the February break, especially in high school. They have midterms right after the December break or the second week in January, which can be mentally strenuous. The Feb. break allows them to recoup from that stress. Otherwise, they would go three months (Jan. - March) without a break. February is also the perfect time to go skiing in New England. There are many families like ours who take advantage of the Feb. break for skiing. This would not be possible in March or April because it would already be too warm for skiing.”
What’s your take on the subject?