No Joke: School Board Adds April Fools', Others Back Into Calendar

With four of the five snow days already used and a predicted rough winter ahead, the school board adds three 'off' days back onto the calendar.

Southern Lehigh students can expect to be in the classroom three more days this year then initially scheduled. 

The school board unanimously voted to add Jan. 21, Feb. 15 and April 1 back into the school year in order to give the district a little more cushion for a possibly bad winter. 

"The likelihood of using additional snow days this winter is pretty high," said board president Dr. Thomas McLoughlin. 

Students are required to be in school 180 days, with varying amounts of instructional hours depending on grade level (from 990 for upper grades to 450 for kindergarten).

"We have a few options to make sure the school complies with state requirements," said superintendent Leah Christman. "We can adjust the calendar [to add additional days at the end of the year]. We can adjust graduation [to help senior comply with attendance requirements], or we can add days back into the calendar."

Board members suggested additional options. "If push came to shove, [students] can go on Saturdays," said Dr. Elizabeth Stelts. "I've heard of other districts doing that." 

During the lengthy discussion, the board agreed that if at all possible dates around long holidays shouldn't be used, such as dates leading up to or ending on either side of the Winter Break or Spring Break. 

McLoughlin did ask that parents reach out with suggestions for additional makeup days in the event that the district uses the four remaining days. "It would help if folks in the community would give us guidance about which days would be best."

Conversation about adding the Monday after Thanksgiving back into the calendar was nixed to accommodate the traditional beginning of hunting season. 

Should the weather cooperate, the board does have the right to restore any of these days to their original "off" status.

As board member Jeff Dimmig pointed out, "I don't think anyone will be that upset if we add those 'days off' back into the calendar."

Leslie November 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM
She has what it takes. It, as we have discussed earlier, is not so easy as people believe. It SHOULD be, but it's not and that isn't all her fault either. In any event, I am giving her a break.
Ed November 14, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Good, me too! She should know there are people like us who have her back.
Leslie November 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Gramma24 November 15, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Of the many school districts I have either attended or had my children attend, only those in this part of Pennsyltucky give off the Monday AFTER Thanksgiving. Thursday and Friday were IT. That should be a no-brainer as going back in rotation, as is 'the first day of hunting season', really? Not everyone hunts, and if it is such a 'family' tradition', have they not heard of taking an 'educational fieldtrip' for such nonsense? And Saturdays should be considered. If they can open (heat and lights) the schools for Saturday detention, why not use it for what it was intended for? Education. First to go should be all the incidental holidays, President's Day (do you REALLY think that having the day off makes the kids think about the former presidents?) and all the Mondays after holiday breaks......maybe even the spring holidays should be up for grabs, Spring break, Memorial Day....what is more important, educating our children or giving them another day to 'hang' at the Promenade?
careless fills November 28, 2012 at 12:14 AM
We don't need a detailed survey. This was an executive decision using common sense, and a no brainer nonetheless. The cancellation of the holiday would be effectively be less than two weeks away (actually only 7 school days) and people might not want to (or be able to) change their travel plans with such short notice. The Thanksgiving monday is connected to the rest of the days off and could very well have been counted on. Also, people would probably not plan to use MLK or Presidents day so far in advance since they produce only three day weekends, and few working people (except governement) actually have those days off.


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