Education board approves 2015-16 school calendar

Following what Board of Education Chair Bruce Likly referred to as a “spirited discussion” in June, the board further discussed and approved Wilton Public Schools’ 2015-16 calendar during its Thursday, Sept. 11, meeting.

Superintendent Kevin Smith reminded the board of a state House bill that delayed the required implementation of a regional school calendar to July 2016.

He also pointed out that Wilton’s 2015-16 school calendar is “mostly aligned with the proposed regional calendar.”

“The key difference, really, is that in the proposed regional calendar, the students start school two days later than what’s proposed here [in Wilton’s 2015-16 calendar],” said Dr. Smith.

Board member Lory Rothstein said she supports the adoption of the proposed 2015-16 school calendar, which has the first day of school set for Aug. 31. Labor Day falls on Sept. 7.

However, Ms. Rothstein said, “I would just be mindful of where the Easter holiday is each year.

“I just want to make note that in the ’15-16 calendar year, Easter is actually quite early — it’s on March 27 that year,” said Ms Rothstein, adding that tacking the April break onto Easter break would be “significant.”

“During the school year I heard some disappointment from the community that we had Good Friday off, then the Easter weekend, school for a week and then off for a week,” said Ms. Rothstein. “I would just like to be mindful of where the holidays are and put things where they make sense.”

According to the proposed 2015-16 calendar, Good Friday is March 25 and April vacation would take place April 11-15, with school resuming April 18.

According to the current 2014-15 school calendar, Good Friday is on April 3 and April break takes place April 13-17, with school resuming April 20.

On the proposed 2015-16 school calendar, the first eight make-up days would be added at the end of the year, up to June 24, and any additional make-up days would be taken from the April vacation, beginning with April 11.

On the 2014-15 school calendar, make-up days are to be added at the end of the year up to June 19, with additional make-up days being taken from April break, beginning April 13.

Mr. Likly said there has been discussion about “making sure we have enough March catch-up time for testing.”

However, he said, “with testing schedules changing, we may have flexibility in the future.”