Snow days and the end of the year

by MACKENZIE MATIKONIS Staff Writer

The Monroe Township school district is still struggling to decide how to allocate days lost due to Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Governor Chris Christie is enforcing the law that requires all New Jersey schools to hold 180 days of instruction. That means many schools will have to make up for missed days by taking away vacation days such as Memorial Day, Spring Break, and adding days onto the end of the school year.

The school year cannot extend past June 30, so the last possible day of school would be Friday, June 28. The maximum amount of days that could be added to the end of the year is four.

The school district only has to make up two more days. To account for these, two days are being taken away from Spring Break. Another two were added to the end of the school year, so that school will now end on June 26 instead of June 24.

The school calendar is built with 182 days, while students only attend 180. The extra two days count as snow days. If the snow days do not get used, they will be put back toward Spring Break.

If more than two days are used, additional vacation days will be lost. Memorial Day weekend could not be taken because it is a federally recognized holiday. Principal Robert Goodall said that it is possible that more days could be added to the end of the year in this case.

As it is, there are already two days added to the end of the year, leaving graduation before the school year ends.

Senior graduation and finals “will be adjusted according to the revised calendar,” said Mr. Goodall.

However, graduation may not happen two days before school is over.

“Ideally, graduation would be moved to the last day of school since it is not likely that students would attend following the ceremony, which marks the completion of their high school experience,” said superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton.

This would force students to attend the last two days, instead of ending their school year early. Some students would attend the final days no matter when graduation was held.

“If it is required to get the diploma, yes [I will attend the last two days]. Otherwise, those two days are only for yearbook signing and saying goodbye to teachers,” said senior Kellie Smith.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeff Gorman said that graduation will most likely be moved to Tuesday, June 25, but it has not yet been approved by the Board of Education.

No final decision regarding the last day of school or graduation will be made until the winter is over. It is unlikely any more days will have to be taken due to inclement weather.

#MackenzieMatikonis #HurricaneSandy #snowdays #Graduation #springbreak

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