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School Committee votes to reinstate student days on calendar

Date: 11/29/2011

Nov. 30, 2011

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD — School vacation time will remain untouched for Westfield Public School students, at least for now.

At its Nov. 21 meeting, School Committee members voted to recapture two student instruction days in the 2011-2012 school calendar, reinstating some of the snow days already used this year.

“We’re going to make Feb. 7, 2012, a student day, that was going to be a professional day, and we’re going to have a [half-day] student day on April 6, 2012,” School Superintendent Suzanne Scallion said. “This will give us the room for four snow days and four late starts or early dismissals [because of weather].”

Like many other school districts in Western Massachusetts, Westfield Public Schools lost five education days due to power outages following the historic Oct. 29 snowstorm. Scallion said her district also started one day later than scheduled because of damage wrought by Tropical Storm Irene in late August.

“If anyone told me as a first-year superintendent I would have already called off six days of school [by this point], I would not have believed it,” she said.

According to Scallion, the last day of school is now slated to be June 22, 2012.

“We may have to come back to the drawing board again,” Scallion added, noting that the weather had been very unpredictable during the course of the last 12 months. “That could be because we haven’t used the snow days and we’re looking at gaining back a professional day. If we have to use all the snow days, we may have to use two [more] half- days in the spring.”

Debbie Gardner can be reached by e-mail at debbieg@thereminder.com



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