A letter from Superintendent Jerome Belair:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It feels like déjà vu. Two years ago, on my first day as Superintendent of Schools in Waterford, I was faced with a school calendar issue due to a number of cancellations in January. This year, with a loss of five school days due to Hurricane Sandy and three days due to the recent Blizzard of 2013, our last day of school is currently projected to be June 25th.
I am concerned about fulfilling the statutory responsibility to have 180 meaningful days of school for students by June 30th. We have no way of knowing our future need for snow days. The State Department of Education does not permit us to use weekends or extend the school day in order to make up cancellations due to weather.
I recognize that no matter what the course of action I and the Board of Education decide to take, it may be an inconvenience or hardship to some students, their families and some of our staff. We need to work through this situation in a manner that recognizes that these extraordinary weather events have necessitated an immediate change to the Waterford Public Schools calendar.
I am adjusting the school calendar and revising the February winter break. There will be NO school on Monday, February 18. School will resume on Tuesday, February 19 and be in session for the remainder of the week. This calendar change will provide us with an additional day if the remainder of February and March prove to be stormy months.
I wanted you to know of this calendar change as soon as possible. I realize some families and staff have plans for this long weekend. Student absences on Tuesday will be viewed as excused absences, and school assignments will be provided by our faculty for those students whose families have non-refundable trip plans. Students will be expected to complete all class work assigned and turn in their completed work upon their return to school.
I appreciate your support with this decision. The first day of spring is March 20th and I am looking forward to it!
Jerome R. Belair
Superintendent of Schools