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Malverne Shortens February Break, Extends School Days

District changes 2012-13 school calendar to make up six days lost due to Sandy.

Malverne students and faculty will have a shorter February break this year and longer school days for part of 2013 to make up the instructional time lost due to Superstorm Sandy and November's Nor'easter.

The district lost six instructional days due to the storms and their aftermath. To make up three of them, the Malverne school board approved a resolution at Tuesday's business meeting to designate Feb. 19, 20 and 21 of 2013 instructional days.

To recoup the other three days while keeping the remaining of scheduled vacation days intact, the district is taking a creative approach. The district and the Malverne Teachers Association came to an agreement on Dec. 6, which the board approved Tuesday, to extend the school day by 30 minutes for multiple days in January, February and March. From Jan. 7* through March 8, classes will begin 15 minutes earlier in the morning and students will be dismissed 15 minutes later in the afternoon.

The hybrid approach Malverne is taking is different from what the West Hempstead and Lynbrook school districts are going. They have outright eliminated five scheduled vacation days from their calendars.

"We felt this was the best way to have quality instruction take place and still meet state mandate," Malverne Schools Superintendent James Hunderfund told Patch.

He explained that it's common for students and teachers to be absent from school when districts have to eliminate previously scheduled vacation days. This results in a loss of instruction and continuity, which he hopes to minimize by opting to extend existing school days rather than taking back more vacation time.

Hunderfund said the district's bus providers have all been notified. Notices will be posted to the Malverne UFSD Web site soon and sent home to parents to make sure everyone is aware of the schedule changes.

the Malverne school district also cancelled parent-teacher conferences and the second round of the STAR assessments to prevent further loss of valuable instructional time, and announced that professional development for teachers would not be conducted during classroom time for the remainder of the year.

By taking these steps, Malverne's 2012-2013 school calendar will be restored to the 180 days that New York State mandates schools must be in session. However, if Malverne schools are forced to close again during the school year due to snow or another occurrence, officials will have to tap into the spring break unless the state grants a waiver.

*This story was updated at 3:45 p.m. to reflect the correct start date for the extended schools day -- Jan. 7, not Feb. 7. 

Jason December 12, 2012 at 07:00 PM
It's uncanny how these school districts do whats good for their administrators instead of for the students. 15 minutes b4 ?......... 15 minutes after ?..... gimme a break. Professionals should concentrate on the bottom line, in this case education. They continually display indifference and self interests. Hardly professional or smart? These are the jokers we have in this area supposedly enlightening our kids?? Are they complying only with govt mandates they really believe this strategy is effective? I'll allow all you taxpayers and parents out there to answer?!
guest 511 December 12, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I rather them go in for a full day than the 15 min before and 15 min after. Nothing will be done or learned during that time. This is a poorly executed solution.
Kathleen December 12, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I don't have a problem with this decision, though I would have like to know how they plan to use the expanded day. I certainly hope it in NOT for test prep. Will they extend every period by x number of minutes? What would be nice is if they used the time for something to balance all the 3Rs, like a club time- music, art, yoga, Lego club, etc. Even if the clubs were only two days a week, it would be nice to use the extra time that way. Since I'm in the dreaming and wishing mood, what might have been even more productive for the students would have been to keep the Feb break in tact, and extend the school day for a longer period of the year. Right now the kids in the early elementary grades only go to school for about 6 hours. If they were to extend the day to 6 hours and 30 minutes for the rest of the year, there would be consistency and you would be surprised what can really get done in the extra time. NYC did a grand experiment a few years ago when they lengthened two days a week. It really was nice to have that time to get projects done b/c we had the time.
Concerned Resident December 12, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Extending the periods by 3 mins certainly won't do anything!! lol
Baffled December 14, 2012 at 04:44 AM
What if bus drivers cant get them there earlier? What if parents who work cant get kids there earlier? What if some people have to go right to work after? How are aides that only get paid for 5 1/2 hours going to be taken care of? Get a clue!!!

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