Six unexpected days off from school was a treat for many Weston kids, but not quite a vacation. After all, it’s not nearly as fun to stay home from school when there’s no TV, Internet, or video games — not to mention no lights, heat or flushing.
And, as fun as days off from school are for kids, by state law, they have to be made up.
Superstorm Sandy caused destruction throughout Weston and a massive extended power outage (100% of the town at one point). School was out of session for nine days in a row, including the weekend and the previously scheduled closure for Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
(School administrators thought about opening on Tuesday, but Superintendent Colleen Palmer did not think town roads would be ready for buses and safe access.)
The bad news is those missed school days — six in all — have to be made up. The good news is last winter, after so many missed school days due to Tropical Storm Irene and the October nor’easter, the school board approved a revised calendar for this year that built more “weather days” into it.
State law requires school to be in session for 180 days. The Weston school board planned the 2012-13 calendar so that if days are missed, make-up days are added first to the scheduled end of the year in June, and then, if necessary, days would be taken away from April vacation.
The board added a few cushion days at the beginning of the year, starting on a Monday — the week before Labor Day — rather than on the traditional Thursday. It also shortened what had been a week-long February break to a four-day weekend. The school year was scheduled to end Friday, June 7.
Thanks to Sandy, the last day of school in Weston now stands at Monday, June 17.
There are three more days in June that may be added if winter weather closes school again this year. The last day of school can be as late as Thursday, June 20.
If there are more than three additional school closures, the days will be added back by taking away April vacation days, beginning with Monday, April 15.