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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.

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.

R. Ludlowe December 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM
really? Fairfield Parent, I if you replace "school" with the word "prison" in your first sentence then you might have a point. Otherwise, I dont think you have a good idea of what really happens during the first couple days of school. Next you are going to say that the students should try to beat someone up or shiv them within the first week to show they are tough enough to make it. Sorry, I meant "inmates." "...sizing up who is who?" really?
momof3 December 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM
No changes to calendar as proposed. Veteran's Day still a holiday. 4 day weekend in Feb.
Caitlin Mazzola December 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Story coming right up, Dawn.
Caitlin Mazzola December 12, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Here's how the board voted last night on the 2013-2014 calendar: http://fairfield.patch.com/articles/fairfield-schools-to-remain-closed-on-veterans-day
LMT December 14, 2012 at 07:29 PM
At the high school level and possibly the middle school level students are taking final exams during the last 4 days of school.

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