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K-L School Calendar Remains Unchanged, For Now

The district is officially down a make-up day but at this point, school board president Mark Lipton said he's unaware of any plans to change the school calendar.

Sandy and Nemo have so far forced Katonah Lewisboro schools to give back two weather reserve days but not eliminate February recess.

When the school board voted on Jan. 10 to retain a four-day weekend over President's Day holiday, the five members in favor of the plan did so hoping for the possibility of a snow-day free February.

There have been two snow days and one two-hour delay since then, most recently when a blizzard blew through the region last Friday. And at this point—though the district is officially down a day in the calendar and risks the loss of some state aid—there are no immediate plans to add another day to the school calendar.

"I'm not aware of a discussion of the district calendar being on the agenda for the next school board meeting," School Board President Mark Lipton told Patch. He said although having a total of 179 days of instruction—instead of the state mandated 180 days—put the district at risk of losing approximately $17,000 in state aid, the district would do everything in its power to preserve the funding.

"We can apply for waivers under state law considering the circumstances," said Lipton.

Those circumstances include "extraordinarily adverse weather conditions, an impairment of heating facilities, an insufficient water supply, a fuel shortage, a lack of electricity, a natural gas leak, unacceptable levels of chemical substances, or the destruction of a school building,” according to the state education department's website.

There is limited time left in the school calendar to add additional instruction days, according to Scott Persampieri, assistant superintendent of human resources. State rules prohibit student attendance after the last day of Regents exams, and because many holidays fell on week days this year the district was not able to build in as many weather reserve days as it has in the past.

Both weather reserve days—one in April and one in May—have already been restored to the school calendar as attendance days. Lipton said re-opening the discussion could be initiated by the district administration or by school board members.

John F February 13, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Still don't understand the BOE decision not to eliminate February recess. Yes, making the decision in January would have been short notice for some, but when an entire week was lost due to Sandy, it should not have come as a surprise to anyone, especially with many winter days ahead. Safety needs to be top priority, so if we need more snow days, delayed starts, or early dismissals, we need them. Hope this serves as a lesson to build in more weather days and be clear about up front on vacation days that will be taken if we end up using all weather reserve days.
Jeff Reed February 13, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Bring back February week break!
Rory Burke February 13, 2013 at 09:21 PM
It makes no sense that the board decided to keep the February break. Why not err on the side of a good education and let families with plans make their own decision to take their children out of school. How short sighted of Mark Lipton and the other board members who voted to keep the February break.
Ross Revira February 14, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Todays parents are as phoney as a typical politician. They desire the best education your money can buy as long as it does not disrupt their Caribbean vacation. Is there any doubt where our country is headed.
Karen Jahn February 14, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Vacation or travel is not considered an excused absence so one thing that they probably considered is NY State Education law...
JohnCW February 14, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Shortly the school budget season will be upon us and we'll be hearing the slogan "it is all for the kids". Then why is that parents find it more important to go on winter vacation then to have their children educated? This is yet another rip-off of the taxpayers. When is the BOE going to stop cowtailing to these selfish people?

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