The Seaford Board of Education held a regular meeting on Dec. 6, a portion of which was dedicated to discussing makeup instructional days on the school calendar.
As a result of Superstorm Sandy and an early November nor'easter, the district lost six days of instruction. The school board voted to make up these missed days during part of February vacation from Feb. 20-22 as well as March 25 and April 1-2, which were designated on the calendar as emergency makeup days. However, a dilemma arises if the district needs to implement any snow days this winter.
One option to make up for a potential snow day is to get rid of February break, as some other districts like neighboring Wantagh have done, and designate Feb. 19 as an instructional day. However, this would require an additional discussion and contract negotiation with the staff.
“Unlike other school districts, your contract specifically lists February recess as a period off for your teachers,” said Christopher Venator, attorney for the Seaford school board. “It’s somewhat unusual. I haven’t seen that in other contracts.”
The other option to make up for a potential snow day is to use June 24 and/or 25 as conference days for the staff, which wouldn't require negotiations. While this route wouldn’t provide additional instructional days for students, it would fulfill the state’s 180 day requirement.
“To me, February 19 is preferable,” said school board member Susan Ruona. “June does nothing for the students. I’d rather see the students get instruction.”
Superintendent Brian Conboy stated that using Feb. 19 is the priority of the board, but a decision cannot be reached until additional discussions take place.
If there are multiple snow days, the district may need to utilize both Feb. 19 and the end of June. The idea of using days in April was mentioned but taken off the table since it would interfere with religious holidays.
Other important items on Thursday night's meeting agenda included:
- Save Seaford Sports presented a to cover the cost of a middle school intramural athletic program for the winter season.
- PTSA presented a $3,000 donation to fund two clubs at the middle and high schools.
- SEPTA presented a $300 donation to support the new Peers and Connections Created (PACC) Club at the middle school.
- The Board approved the formation of a Robotics Club at Seaford High School, which will be partly funded by the unused stipend from the Foreign Language Club.
- Board of Education President Brian Fagan stated that brochures detailing the Seaford Avenue School Referendum Vote, which will take place Dec. 12, should have been mailed to all residents’ homes. Residents can log on to the school district’s website to read the latest updates on the matter, he said. Attorney Albert D’Agostino was also on hand to answer any questions about the referendum.
- Fagan discussed how he wanted to improve emergency planning for the future, in light of Superstorm Sandy.