Presidents' Day Off ... or On?
Students are returning back to school on Tuesday after enjoying a February break Greenwich style. The district is unusual as it currently takes its February break before and including Presidents' Day while many surrounding communities take the break beginning with Presidents' Day.
Families have express their view that the pre-President's Day break allows for both availability and affordability at vacation spots whether they opt for snow or sand. Even day-tripping is less crowded because most schools are in session.
The district has flip-flopped between pre- and post- Presidents' Day since 2009 but decided on pre for 2010 through 2012 as well as 2013. The Board of Education has yet to decide on the 2014 break.
As currently proposed, in 2014 the District is planning to break Feb. 17 through Feb. 21 with the 17th being Presidents' Day. The Greenwich Association for Education (GAE), the teachers’ union, has been a vocal supporter of the post-holiday break as it affords teachers and staff who do not live in Greenwich the opportunity to have their break at the same time as their families.
Board members and others have supported the pre-holiday break as it ensures the most educational class time after the break and before the March standardized testing process beings across the district.
The 2013-2014 district calendar will be on the board's agenda at this Thursday’s meeting, this time though it is up for a vote. The topic of this calendar previously appeared on the Nov. 17, Dec. 1, Dec. 22 and Jan. 19 agendas.
At the January meeting, PTA Council President Lisa Beth Savitz said in reference to the proposed 2013-2014 calendar that "most PTAs prefer that the February Break precede Presidents' Day rather than follow it, but that they are far happier with a year that ends earlier in June and does not have students start on a Friday."
The decision on the calendar has been drawn out as the Administration has spent time vetting the options with stakeholders including GOSA, GEA and PTAC. "We greatly appreciate the Superintendent consulting with us and with the employee unions to achieve the compromise before you," said Savitz during her January comments.
In December, the Council comments referred to the impossible task of calendar making; "As we are all aware, there is no way to make everyone happy with the school schedule without violating the laws of physics."
Back To Business
In addition to the calender vote, the Board of Education meeting at New Lebanon School Thursday evening is expected to hear an update from the Administration on possible methods for tracking gradutes as well as an update on the district's capital and operating budgets which were presented to the BET Budget Committee earlier this month.
The Consent Agenda will incude action on the following:
- Social Studies Curriculum Review
- Science Monitoring Report
- Management of Resources Monitoring Report
- Monitoring Report E-003 Math - a report that was previously presented at the January 5th Work Session, a month before the announcement of the retirement of Truxton (Tuck) Southworth who has served as Program Coordinator for Mathematics and Technology Education.
Kindergarten Orientation and Registration Schedule
The Greenwich Public Elementary Schools have announced plans to welcome and register incoming - Fall 2012 - kindergarten children and their parents.
Starting with a Kindergarden Orientation for parents, which is held at each school in February and March, parents are then asked to make appointments in March or April for individual meetings at their respective schools.
The next step on the path to the start of school for these youngsters is the Kindergarten Registration process at the schools, which also verifies residency.
In order to prepare them for the upcoming school year, on May 17, incoming Kindergarteners will have the opportunity to expererience classrooms in elementary schools townwide during Kindergarten Visitation Day.
The GPS website has Kindergarten Orientation and Registration schedules for each of the Greenwich Public Elementary Schools (also posted on Patch.) All schools mail invitations for Kindergarten Visitation Day to families that have registered and/or are otherwise known to the schools as having incoming Kindergarten students.
To be eligible for Kindergarden children must turn five (5) by December 31, 2012. Dismissal /buses for this year’s kindergarten classes will be at 12 noon on May 17 in order for the incoming students to orient in the afternoon. Welcome class of 2025!