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Spring Break Cut Short by Make-Up Days for High School Students

Inclement weather days surpass allotment, forcing class on previously scheduled off days.

A nor’easter that dumped more than a foot of snow on the area late last week was the straw that broke the spring break camel’s back.

West Morris Regional High School district superintendent Mackey Pendergrast has announced that students in both school will now have classes on two of the five days originally scheduled for spring break in April.

In a letter to the community, Pendergrast said per district policy, classes will be in session Monday, April 14, and Tuesday, April 15.

The nor’easter forced both high schools to close on Thursday, Feb. 13 and Friday, Feb. 14. Before the storm, the district had used all four of its allotted inclement weather days.

“Considering the many challenges of this winter season, we have done everything within our control to preserve the continuity of instruction. However, the cumulative impact of multiple snow events has resulted in more than just dangerous roads. Increased difficulties in the removal of snow, low salt inventories, poor sight lines on roads, narrowed parking lots and streets, refreeze, and many other variables were ultimately too much to overcome with this last storm,” Pendergrast said in the letter.

The school chief forewarned what looks to be a continued rough patch before warmer temperatures set in.

“Looking forward, the long-range weather forecast calls for an extended volatile and cold season through March,” Pendergrast said. “To this end, we will continue to be vigilant in our approach in order to sustain an optimal learning environment for the students and faculty of West Morris Regional.”

According to the calendar approved by the board in the spring of 2013 for the current school year, more inclement weather days going forward will be made up in the remaining spring break days. 

Reality Chuck February 18, 2014 at 10:07 AM
A suggestion for the teachers and administrators....I understand the school day number requirement and the steps to be taken to account and comply. Please don't "fear" or shame the children and/or parents that choose not to send their kids because of previous plans....Snow days should not be used as leverage.
La Quin February 18, 2014 at 10:37 AM
reality chuck... remember they need a certain percentage of kids there for it to count as a day of school... otherwise it's a big problem. not to mention for the HS crowd ... they may need those days to prep for IB/AP tests (the scores around here are not stellar overall -- not for where we live and the quality of our teachers)
Reality Chuck February 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Good points and thanks. Certainly beneficial to know rather than "a big test review" or "a project missed that will count against you"...My only point is that there needs to be a mutual understanding that taking away vacation days puts stress on families to weigh decisions....and not just the Board of Ed. and their contractual obligations. I too have previous contractual obligations to airlines and hotels....
Reality Chuck February 18, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Yes...yes....Maybe Memorial Day Monday too....for the children's education...That's the blanket response that should avoided. So families should have made no plans until the week before vacation based on potential snow and its potential corresponding impact on the State requirements.....very reasonable approach to life.
Natalie February 18, 2014 at 11:44 AM
Families....go on your planned vacation. Life is short, and time we spend together as a family is so important. Take time away from our crazy lives to love each other.
12345678 February 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM
What Natalie said. Family vacations are definitely more important than a few missed days of school.
Reality Chuck February 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM
And while we are at it....let's coordinate with the LV grammar school so the whole family can go on vacation and we don't have to leave the 14-17 year olds by themselves to be educated and enriched those 2 days. (Irony for the sarcastic)

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