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April vacation in jeopardy if snow continues

Published 11:44 am, Saturday, March 1, 2014
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New Canaan students who are going away for spring break should prepare for a change of plans -- or pray for no more than four more snow days.

The Board of Education voted Monday to allow the New Canaan Public Schools to shorten April's spring vacation if the district has more than four additional weather-related cancellations.

The schools have had seven closures due to weather. As of this week, the tentative last day of school is Wednesday, June 18.

Under board policy, the district can have classes as late as the third week of June, which would bring the last day to June 20, Superintendent of Schools Mary Kolek said.

Therefore, if there are more than two additional snow days, the district will first reduce total instructional days from 182 to 181, and then to 180, if needed.

The state requires a minimum of 180 school days every year, but New Canaan has 182, Kolek said.

The board determined years ago that those two days could be eliminated due to "extraordinary circumstances," she said.

If there still are more storms after those reductions that require school closings, the district will then shorten the April vacation, beginning with April 14, and on through the week, except for Good Friday. This year's spring vacation is scheduled for April 14 to 18.

The changes would be consistent with board policy, but Monday's vote "gives people a little bit of a chance to plan," Kolek said.

The superintendent also said she hopes the adjustments are not needed. "We are hopeful that maybe the weather will hold out," she said.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson