SAD 61 summer vacation delayed

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

Some parents may have thought their school children’s math skills were declining.

Several weeks ago, students began reciting the official countdown to the last day of school, but they were adding more days than had been listed on the district’s calendar.

Their mathematic calculations were not in error.

The start of summer vacation has been delayed by a week for students in the School Administrative District (SAD) 61.

The last day of school is Tuesday; and it is an early release day, according to Andy Madura, the director of Transportation, Facilities and Food Services for SAD 61.

During the 2012-13 school year, a total of six days of school were cancelled because of inclement weather.

Students have already made up one of those snow days on a Monday in April that would have been a teachers’ workshop day, Madura said.

“So, we had five days we had to make up,” he said.

Tacking on days to the end of the school year is not a totally uncommon occurrence, Madura said.

However, it has not happened for a few years, he said.

“The year before last, we used one day,” he said.

The State Department of Education requires that schools hold class on 175 days, while seniors must be provided with 170 days of classroom time.

Originally, SAD 61’s date for the last day of school was set for June 12, and now it is June 18. Madura said that end date is usually “tentative.”

“It gets a bit dicey trying to get enough school days for seniors to graduate,” he said.

“We have to coordinate high school graduation for the seniors,” he said.

“There is a concern about changing the graduation date because organizers book speakers a year in advance,” he said.

According to postings on the school district’s website, school was cancelled because of the weather on the following dates: Dec. 10, Dec. 17, Dec. 21, Feb. 8, Feb. 27 and March 19.

Madura confirmed those dates.

As the head of transportation, Madura sends out the e-mail notices when school is cancelled or delayed.

On three different days this winter, there was a two-hour delay to the start of the school day. Also, weather caused the early release of students on Oct. 29 and Jan. 16.

The school cancellation on Friday, Dec. 21, gave area students a three-day weekend. The posting read, “The National Weather Service states up to 3 inches of snow changing to sleet or freezing rain and heavy rain by midday, and also high winds up to 50 mph this afternoon and early evening.”

Luckily, when children are released from school next week, the weather should be in the 70s and partly sunny. Plus, this time of year pitching a tent in the yard will be a more favorable after-school chore than shoveling a path to the family vehicle.

Please follow and like us: