Thursday night, the Board of Education moved next year’s April break up to the beginning of the month to better accommodate the move into
April break was originally scheduled for April 15th to the 19th. But the district will move that break to April 1st to the 5th, and in that time move the classrooms into the new section of Waterford High School, which is under renovation.
As part of the renovation, a new building was constructed on the side of the school. The original plan was to move students into the building in February, but that has been pushed back.
Although the construction is only on the high school, all students in Waterford will have the break from April 1st to the 5th.
The district was originally considering moving students into the new building during an extended February break. However, CAPT testing begins just two weeks after that vacation, and Superintendent Jerome Belair and Principal Don Macrino felt that was not enough time to get the students acclimated to the new building.
“Under normal circumstances a full work week and two weekends are recommended to conduct a successful move during the school year,” Belair said in a press release. “We explored changing the calendar to alter the February break and include a week’s vacation in February to facilitate the move.”
“However, it was felt that two weeks was not enough time to familiarize everyone to a new building prior to CAPT testing in March for all tenth graders,” Belair continued. “The daily schedule throughout March is altered due to testing and routines changed dramatically.”
“Even if we revised the February break to include a full week, it is our strong belief that we would be placing our students at a disadvantage while everyone (staff and students) becomes familiar with a new facility,” Belair continued. “We need to do this well.”
There will be time for staff to get familiar with the new building during April break, and possibly even during March, when staff can go after school, Belair said.
Belair also made the decision early so people’s April vacation plans are not ruined. To get the word out, he is sending an automated call out to all students, submitted press releases to the local media and will send out a mailing with the information.
If people have already made plans, Belair said the district will be accommodating.
The later move will not delay the construction, according to Project Manager Gus Kotait of O & G Industries. However, the students do need to move out of the old school by April, so workers can begin to demolish the old building, according to Kotait.