BRONXVILLE, N.Y. - Bronxville Schools Superintendent David Quattrone announced the first marking period of the school year will be extended into the second to even out days lost from Hurricane Sandy.
New York State Education Department Commissioner John King can excuse up to five of the necessary 180 school days for "extraordinary circumstances," according to the department, but only after all possible vacation days are used up in the district.
While the state implemented a provision for last year that pushed the requirement up to 10 excusable days after Hurricane Irene, state Education Department spokesperson Antonia Valentine said it's too soon to tell whether a similar provision will be enacted this year.
"We can't predict whether the Legislature will act to provide relief from the 180-day requirement again this year," Valentine wrote in an email.
The department's regulations say not even a state of emergency — which was declared by several towns in Westchester County and by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — will excuse schools to operate for less than 180 days.
The Bronxville School District will extend the end of its first marking period (Nov. 8) into the beginning of the second marking period (Nov. 16), said Bronxville School officials.
The extension won't impact student attendance, rather just shorten the second marking period to even everything out, Quattrone said.
"We examined the situation and decided that this was the best time to deal with the circumstance," Quattrone said. "The guidance offices, principals and school staff all got together and agreed that extension going up to Thanksgiving break was the most logical thing to do."
Bronxville resident and mother Jeanine Jackelich said her son wouldn't like it, but all school days should be made up at some point.
"I totally think that school officials should all get together and figure out a way to make up the lost time," Jackelich said. "You may say a week isn't too much time, but it really is a big deal when you consider how much work students do regularly."
Her son, Thomas, an eighth-grade student in Bronxville, disagreed with that sentiment.
"I think if we missed the one week it wouldn't be too bad," he said. "I'm sure there's some way we could make up some of the work, even maybe like an extra project or something. We are always missing days for different reasons; this shouldn't be any different."