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Officials Tread Through Sandy’s Impact On School Calendar [AUDIO]

The storm has knocked some school districts’ calendar on its ear, leaving many to wonder about making up lost time. And we aren’t even into the winter season yet.

East Dover Intermediate School in Toms River
East Dover Intermediate School in Toms River (Toms River School District)

State law requires 180 days on instruction each school year. That said, New Jersey School Boards Association spokesman Frank Beluscio says the State Education Commissioner can waive that requirement. However, he says they have until June 30th to provide the 180 instructional days, and also changing vacations if there was going to be a winter break or a spring break. They would call students into session.

If there is a state of emergency, that makes it impossible for school districts to provide those 180 instructional days, the Commissioner of Education will consider a waiver on a case-by-case basis.

Previously, districts have juggled holidays and spring and winter break periods to make up the difference. Beluscio says the waiving of the 180-day requirement is still an option.

There have been school years when we have faced this situation, where districts have used up their snow days. We were in the middle of particularly severe winters, and the prospect of additional school closing were a very real possibility. And, at that point, districts did find ways to do it by extending the school year.

The School Boards Association will conduct an assessment of local districts to determine lost school time and damage to buildings in the storm’s aftermath.

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