After Sandy, Merrick schools adjust schedules

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Superintendent David Feller said students at Harold D. Fayette, Old Mill Road and Camp Avenue schools will also be required to come to class on what was formerly a full conference day. With the Board of Education’s Dec. 11 vote, March 7 was also finalized as a day of instruction, as students will have a half day of school to allow for parent-teacher conferences to begin at 2:30 p.m.

Feller said the Board of Education, North Merrick Faculty Association and administration were involved in the calendar adjustment process. He said he believes the community anticipated that changes to the schedule would have to be made.

“They recognize that this is an unusual situation,” he said. “They understand that this was out of our control.”

The North Merrick calendar is similar to that of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, according to Feller. Merrick’s middle- and high-schoolers will also have class from Feb. 20 to 22.

In the Central High School District plan, which passed on Dec. 5, Jan. 22 and 23 were also made full days of instruction. Officials explained on the district’s website that the academic year could not be extended in June, as school districts are not permitted to schedule school days after state Regents exams.

The law requires that districts schedule a minimum of 180 days of school, officials said on the Central District website, adding that the state would reduce aid for each day a district fell below the minimum.

Local superintendents expressed concerns about meeting the requirement if severe weather were to hit in winter. In the Merrick district, April 1 and 2 will remain as emergency makeup days on the calendar. The high school district also left its snow makeup days –– March 25 and April 11 –– as scheduled. Feller said that in North Merrick, several staff development days could be counted toward the 180-day minimum in the event of snow closures.

Palma said forecasters believe this could be a winter marked by heavy snowfall in New York, and he is unsure what would happen if his district needed to cancel school more than two times or after April 2 owing to inclement weather.

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