Jul 27, 2014
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Fairfield School Year Could Start Earlier in 2013

The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the school calendar at its Dec. 11 meeting. A few options for change are on the table.

Fairfield School Year Could Start Earlier in 2013

The Fairfield Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the 2013-2014 school calendar during its Dec. 11 meeting -- several options for change were discussed at the Nov. 27 meeting.

Last year, the ultimate decision to eliminate February vacation from the current school year and the proposal to hold class on Veterans Day drew public attention and criticism.

The option to hold class on Veterans Day will be revisited and discussed at the board's December meeting at the request of member Jennifer Maxon Kennelly.

Other possible changes to the calendar include starting the school year a few days earlier and holding class on non-obligated holidays like President's Day.

In the draft of the 2013-2014 school year calendar, the first day of school is Thursday, Aug. 29 and the last day -- weather-pending -- is scheduled for Wednesday, June 11. The draft also includes a four-day weekend mid-February instead of February break.

Because February vacation is not included in the proposed 2013-2014 calendar, there are a total of seven makeup days built into the end of the year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title suggested that the school year could also start earlier to ensure students are not kept in school until the end of June.

If the school year were to start on Monday, Aug. 26 or Tuesday, Aug. 27, teachers would have to come in the week before for professional development days.

Both Kennelly and John Convertito opposed the idea. Kennelly said someone needs to advocate for the teachers, whose summer vacations would end much sooner than usual.

Convertito said the idea to start school early is "counterintuitive" to the board's decision last year to cut February break.

"The whole point of taking February break was to keep kids out of the hot classrooms [in June]," he said, as temperatures will still be hot in late August.

Member Sue Brand said the board should also consider holding class on non-obligated holidays like President's Day.

The board is scheduled to take up the conversation again on Tuesday.

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