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February Break Eliminated by Sandy

Board of Education decides best option is to call off Plainview's winter recess.

Hurricane Sandy's latest toll is Plainview's February recess.

After weighing a host of options available to them, the Board of Education decided unanimously Monday night to return six days back to the school calendar, including Tuesday through Friday, Feb. 19-22, 2013.

That week, which includes the federal holiday of Presidents Day on Monday Feb. 18, was to be the district's winter recess.

"It's our best option," said Superintendent Lorna Lewis. "It leaves us the most flexibility."

The board, after discussing four alternative plans, agreed.

The superstorm which tore across Long Island on Oct. 28 left thousands in Plainview without power and forced the district to close schools for a full week. The district lost a sixth day on Nov. 8, the result of a nor'easter that knocked out power again to several school buildings.

In addition to the four days in February, the district decided Monday to make up two additional days in the spring: May 24 and 28, the Friday and Tuesday surrounding the Memorial Day weekend.

That will leave Plainview with 181 days of school (179 of which students are required to attend.) State law requires schools to have 180 days of school in order to receive state aid, school officials said. (Teachers will attend 181 days.)

That means Plainview still needs to get lucky in terms of snow days. The district has allowed for one snow day for the year. If schools are forced to take additional unscheduled snow days, the district will be forced to cut into its spring break. 

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"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Dr. Lewis said.

Several district residents spoke at the meeting. One raised concerns that some people may have already scheduled vacations and won't get refunds on expensive plane tickets. Several speakers said some residents will pull their kids from school anyway.

The district had few other options available to them. For example, schools can't be opened on weekends or national holidays, school officials said.

The board, with the help of Plainview JFK Principal devised a plan to add instructional days to the school calendar. The plan calls for the high school's midterm week to be converted into a regular week of instruction.

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alice December 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Good idea. The Feb. break was sarted many years ago as a way to save fuel when there was a shortage and really should have been stopped may years ago. I am sure the Presidents would prefer children being in school learning about them and not on vacation.
CFried December 04, 2012 at 04:18 PM
the whole thing stinks. The state should have granted waivers for those days due to the storm. I am angry at the state more than anyone else. This was an unprecedented event.
Sharon December 04, 2012 at 05:11 PM
According to school bulleting - the District had 2 built in snow days - May 24 and May 28. The district only took back May 28. May 24 is still being held as an unused snow day at this time.
Gary Talkofsky December 04, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Guess that means high school students who are visiting colleges that week will have to take off from school to do so and those who work part time jobs not able to get a full 8 hours of pay that week. High School students will not benefit that much as it is Spring Semester.

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