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.