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Ramsey School Year Extended Through the End of June

Board voted unanimously to keep in tact the 'Ramsey standard' of 185 school days per year; Days will make up for those lost during Hurricane Sandy

Ramsey students will be going to school through the end of June. The board of education voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve calendar adjustments proposed last week that will make up four days lost during Hurricane Sandy.

The new 2012-2013 school calendar pushes the last day of the school year for both students and teachers, and the High School Graduation, to June 28. The Smith School 8th Grade Commencement will be June 27.

The last day was originally supposed to be June 24, with graduation scheduled for June 21.

For the three schools in the district that missed five days of school during and after Hurricane Sandy, the calendar returns them to the number of school days originally scheduled in the calendar, 187. Two of those days are built-in snow days.

According to interim Superintendent Bruce DeYoung, the state mandate for a 180-day school year is not likely to change because of the Hurricane. And, Ramsey has a clause in its contract with the Ramsey Teacher's Association that teachers spend 185 days with students every school year, he said.

Several parents at Tuesday night’s meeting suggested waiting to make any adjustments to the calendar.

“In New Jersey, there is a 180 day minimum…do we really need to go the full extra week?” resident Bill Saunders asked, suggesting the board wait to see if snow days are used before bumping the schedule up to 187 days.

DeYoung said the 185-day school year has “become the standard here in Ramsey, and is one of the reasons we are able to achieve what we are able to achieve. That’s five more days of instruction.”

Board members agreed that Ramsey “is not a [district] that usually does only the minimum required.”

The board also cautioned against waiting until the spring to change the calendar, saying it would be unable to plan for a changed graduation day on such short notice, and that it would be unfair to borough families who are making plans for graduation and the end of the year.

DeYoung also said he has heard from more families who prefer extending the school year to chipping away from the district’s April break.

The two schools – Smith Middle School and the Hubbard School – that  during Sandy will not have any extra days scheduled at this point.

The board said it would only add days for Smith and Hubbard if they fell below the 180-day state standard.

The new calendar also incorporates a full-day teacher inservice on January 14 for a state-mandated training on the new teacher evaluation system.

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Janet Wilson November 28, 2012 at 01:15 PM
I wonder what happens when my kids are absent that week. We will be away on vacation the day after the original proposed date of 6/24. We leave on 6/25. Thank goodness neither one is at the point of graduating 8th or 12th grade!
Jim Meiman November 28, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Janet: Your family's situation is an example of why the Board decided to act now to change the calendar, before more families make plans that cannot be changed. The superintendent stated that the schools will work w/those whose children will absolutely not be able to attend those final days due to circumstances such as yours. I suggest you notify your sons' teachers now and follow-up closer to the end of the school year so arrangements can be made re: final exams, etc.
Rita Berzin November 28, 2012 at 07:05 PM
This does not help families who have children who are ready to graduate and have established summer plans. I would rather days were taken throughout the year rather than adding on to the end of the year when the children are already smitten with Spring Fever. It would have been nice if parents were surveyed...
Janet Wilson November 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Oops - I meant we're leaving the Saturday after the school year was supposed to close (I think that Saturday is the 22nd). But, we've had this vacation planned for a few months already. So, it wouldn't have mattered for us when they decided to do this. It was already done. ;) I'll definitely be in touch. But, thankfully, I only have one who will be dealing with finals. My little one is too young yet. ...Thanks, Jim!
Daniel Kennedy November 29, 2012 at 03:15 AM
In listening to parents, I heard very little express support for extending the school year (all arguments about Ramsey's supposed exceptional-ism aside). I'm surprised the board acted in a way that did not represent the stated desires of the electorate (even if half of Ramsey student's parents thought this was a good idea, that is not a unanimous vote).
Angie Kelly November 29, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Me too!! I thought the same thing.....why weren't parents asked what would work for them!? We have the computer capabilities to do a survey..... I would have prefered a few days from Spring break and the "1" Feb. plus the snow days would have worked
Tobor the 8th Man November 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM
It is done to "look good" on the school report card with NJ Monthly Magazine. Only the high school gets graded there. That's why the two elementary schools do not have to make up the extra two days they missed. The learning that takes place in late June is negligent. Prom, Senior picnic are done, and so are the students. Making kids sit in super heated rooms is a bad decision. We had a freaking hurricane, but no, "we will have out 187 days no matter what!" Poor call made by people who don't have to take classes in hot rooms.
Lisa Argenio November 29, 2012 at 09:04 PM
My family and another family from town already booked a vacation that starts on June 26, which cannot be changed. My son is a sophomore and my friend's son is a Senior this year and what a terrible position to put someone in. Imagine going through the Ramsey School System and then you find out you possibly won't be walking in Graduation because the school board thought this was the "best" they could do . There has to be a way NOT to change Graduation. So many people will be affected if the schedule stays as is. I hope The Board is listening!!!!!!
Angie Kelly November 30, 2012 at 06:12 PM
contact board with your comments...they listen.....BOE@ramsey.k12.nj.us

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