Here’s one topic that parents and children agree upon: the traditional full week of vacation during February will be sorely missed next year. The break will run from Monday, February 18 to Wednesday, February 20.
The district calendar for the academic year 2012- 2013 was approved on February 28 of this year. The following is an account of the history of this break and an explanation of the rationale behind the change; designed to assuage the adjustment process.
Residents have grown accustomed to having the entire week off in recent years. Since the 1999-2000 school year, the district has been closed for the entire Presidents’ week. From the fall of 1995 to the summer of 1999, the February vacation consisted of only one or two days.
Superintendent Lyn McKay explained the reasons for the shortened break, “It depends on when the various holidays fall, and of course, on the state requirements.” In the coming year, Labor Day occurs early in September on the third, the Jewish holidays fall on school days and Christmas is on a Tuesday. The district adds five days to the 180 mandated by the state for a total of 185 days of instruction. Administrative Assistant/District Clerk Theresa Markley elaborated further on the mechanics involved in designing the calendar, “We are one of the 18 component school districts in Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES. We try to coordinate as much as possible.” This is important for a variety of reasons including allowing students to attend classes at BOCES and scheduling sports competitions.
To those families who may be inclined to extend their vacation, McKay offered advice and a glimmer of hope for the future. “We’re hoping people will understand that it was necessary this year to make a shorter February vacation. When possible we’ll give the whole break.”