Due to the harsh weather, Milford students have already missed seven days of school this winter. While two of these days have been “made up” through online work (“Blizzard Bags”), this cannot take the place of what students learn in the classroom with a teacher.
Because of the lost instructional time, the school board voted this afternoon to eliminate the early dismissals for the rest of the 2013-14 school year. These days are: 2/7, 3/21, 4/11 & 5/9. These days have now become full school days and are providing an additional 6 hours of instructional time, which is almost a full day of school.
The administration was initially recommending adding back February 14, a waiver day when students are not in school. However, after weighing various factors, Dr. Farrell decided it was a better approach to leave 2/14 as-is and eliminate the early releases instead. He recommended against 2/14 for several reasons:
1. The four waiver days add 6 hours of instruction time, which is the equivalent of a full day in the classroom.
2. Many families have made plans for 2/14 and those students will miss the day.
3. Our teachers need professional development time, and having a full day of PD, where the entire district can work together, is more valuable than having four days at 1.5 hours each.
4. After further discussions with the state, 2/14 would NOT count as a calamity day as it does already count as an instructional day (confusing, I know, as are most things in public education). Therefore, it would not offer anything additional vs. eliminating the early dismissal days.
Based on these factors, the board agreed it was a better approach to eliminate the early releases and keep 2/14 as a waiver day.
If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you!