Thursday night, Waterford’s teachers union asked the Board of Education to add more school days in March, which would mean students would get out earlier in June.
Waterford lost a week of school from Superstorm Sandy and three days of school from the February blizzard, pushing the last day of school back to June 24th. At a Board of Education meeting Thursday night, Waterford Teachers Union President Martha Shoemaker submitted a letter to the board asking them to turn March 28th, which is a day off for students and a professional development day for teachers, into a school day.
“Our main concern is our students and their academic progress,” Shoemaker wrote in the letter. “We value consistent time with our students. Adding student contact time in March would enhance instructional time. Make-up days in June may be disrupted by end-of-year programs and assemblies, which require changes in students’ schedules.”
Shoemaker said she sent out a survey to Waterford’s teachers, with 187 responding. Of those 187, 144 said they would like the Board of Education to make up more storm days prior to June, and 76 said they would prefer to turn March 28th – a professional development day for teachers – into a regular school day.
The second most popular option by teachers was to turn March 28th into a half-day, with professional development in the afternoon. The remaining three choices in the survey, listed in-order of popularity from most popular to least popular, was turning Good Friday into a half-day, taking two days from April vacation and turning Memorial Day into a full school day.
Superintendent Jerome Belair said he just got the letter Thursday night and wasn't prepared to make a decision either way. He said he will look it over and “see if anything makes sense.”