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Smithtown Schools to Complete Full 180-Day Year

The Smithtown Central School District is looking at February vacation to make up the missed days.

With word spreading of possible legislation allowing school districts to reduce the school year no more than 10 days due to Hurricane Sandy keeping kids at home, the Smithtown Central School District still plans to have kids in class for the full 180 day school year.

If the legislation to approve a shortened school year would be passed, Superintendent Anthony Annunziatio said the district would have to discuss having a shortened school year from an instructional standpoint. Since this legislation has not yet been passed, Annunziatio said it would be tough to answer questions based on a hypothetical situation.

“We have no choice at this point. The other question is how many days are we going to lose with snow days?” he said.

While school was closed for a total of eight days, the district only has to make up three. Of the eight days, two were designated as superintendent’s conference days where there was no school for students, and the district also has three built-in snow days.

Annunziato said the district would look to the February vacation to make these days up, and if the winter were rough and needed to use its snow days then the district would make the three days up in March.

The state legislature passed a resolution in 2011 that allowed for exceptions to the 180-day rule of up to 10 days instead of the regularly allowed five from damages caused by extreme weather conditions, like tropical storm Irene in August of last year.

According to the state education department's website, some circumstances may be approved by the New York State Education Department Commissioner if they are “extraordinary,” which include “extraordinarily adverse weather conditions, an impairment of heating facilities, an insufficient water supply, a fuel shortage, a lack of electricity, a natural gas leak, unacceptable levels of chemical substances, or the destruction of a school building.”

Damage to the buildings from Sandy was minimal, and according to Annunziato, food lost to spoilage. While some food did spoil it was kept to a minimum as the district provided generators to the kitchens in the district.

Communication was also hindered between the district and parents, with the district website crashing and phones not operating at times. Annunziato said they are looking to add text messaging to the robo-calls the district sends out in emergency situations.

Bob November 16, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Right on Harry!!
lawyer and mom November 16, 2012 at 02:38 AM
There are high school juniors who use the February break to tour prospective colleges and see them when they are in session (unlike Christmas break). There are also families that have purchased non-refundable plane tickets for February break. The school community should be given input into which break, if any, is curtailed or whether the school year should be extended.
Jodie Foster Fiermonte November 16, 2012 at 05:44 AM
It's a no win situation. You cannot accommodate everyone. This was a special circumstance and hopefully they'll figure something out that doesn't negatively effect too many people. A few days of missed education is not going to hurt your child in the long run. That's why we have the teachers provide us any work our child will miss while we are away. Parents are equally capable to educate their own children and still be able to take a vacation. Family/Health first, everything else is secondary. Some of the comments on here are so ignorant. Be thankful you survived the hurricane with your life still intact. Good luck everyone, we'll get through it!
Smithtown Rez November 16, 2012 at 11:06 PM
The school has to make a decision on what is best for the curriculum and educational goals of the SCHOOL and its STUDENTS. A once in a lifetime hurricane occurred. Stuff happens. Either go on the vacation or do not, but to see comments about the lack of consideration for those with plane tickets makes me wonder why the school test scores are not lower based on the gene pool in the town. Might actually be a nice lesson coming out of a bad circumstance. Life is sometimes not fair.
Daiseyes November 19, 2012 at 09:32 PM
WOW!! In no way was I expecting people to tell me to "go back where I came from" I actually think that is rather inappropriate in itself ! But I will accept it because this is a place to leave comments on how you feel. So, Cindy, I am sorry you were powerless during the aftermath of Sandy. And if we knew eachother I would have welcomed you into my home to keep warm, shower or have a hot meal. As I did with many of my friends and family. I actually had power the day after Sandy ripped apart an Island that I have called home for my 36 years of life. I feel extremely grateful that I was able to feed, offer showers, and house my friends and family that WERE in distress. I am not a "kook" and I am sure that the woman you are referring to would not appreciate that name calling either. Maybe she could not afford to shop at the stores or eat out at the pizza place b/c she was unable to work and was not going to get paid. Everybody handles stress differently. I guess your way is making people feel little for expressing their feelings!. But this is not about that. This article is about the school district... so I stand behind my original post and am still dissapointed. I will not hold a grudge against them, or you for call me and anyone else "crazy". I simply said that it would have been nice to hear from them!

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