Board looks to revise 2018-19 calendar

In light of all the snow days Wilton has had this year, the Board of Education reviewed proposed changes to the district’s 2018-19 calendar during its March 29 meeting.

“It goes without saying that this has been an unusual year given the extraordinary number of weather closures,” Superintendent Kevin Smith said.

“The feedback that I’ve received over the last month or so indicates that there’s a strong appetite to go ahead and try to revise the 2018-19 calendar, which we approved earlier this year.”

The “general interest,” Smith said, is to try and end the school year earlier in June — “even earlier than where it’s slated at this point [June 17].”

After meeting with and talking to “all different kinds of people” and getting “all different kinds of feedback,” Smith said, there was a desire to “try and relocate the first day of school to back before the start of Labor Day,” but this “just isn’t achievable” for “a variety of reasons.”

However, Smith said, other changes are being proposed.

The first proposed change is an adjustment of the days around Columbus Day weekend — holding a professional learning day on Columbus Day, Oct. 8, and having a regular school day on Oct. 9.

The second proposed change is to take back a day the board had added to next year’s February recess. If the revised calendar is approved, Feb. 13, will be a regular, full school day instead of an early release day for students before the February recess.

With these changes, Smith said, the district would “pick up two days,” making June 13 the slated last day of the 2018-19 school year.

“It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not, I think, what we would all want given all the different feedback, but I think the common goal is to try to buy more days to mitigate against another winter like this one,” said Smith. “I think that accomplishes that task.”

Smith said he’s sent the approved and revised 2018-19 calendars to the Wilton Education Association for feedback.

“I’ve received just around 140 responses so far and as you might expect, the majority wanted to revise the calendar,” he said.

“I’ve asked them to finish off their responses by next week and I will have a motion to approve the revised calendar next week.”

The Board of Education’s next meeting is Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m., in the Wilton High School Professional Library.