School districts seek waivers to shorten required class time - WFSB 3 Connecticut

School districts seek waivers to shorten required class time

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After losing school days following a hurricane and historic blizzard, some school districts are considering asking the state for a waiver.

Currently students must be in class for 180 days, but some of the districts are saying they will have a hard time reaching that number if there are any additional snow days.

"The kids have too many vacations and with all the snow, they're out of school, they'll have to go later into the summer and if you have plans you'll have to make it up, so I feel it should be waived," said parent Sherry Lockhart.

Connecticut state law requires children to be in class for 180 days. Schools also need to be wrapped up by the end of June. This year, that means June 28.

So after getting slammed by Hurricane Sandy and then getting buried by Blizzard Charlotte, some districts are scrambling to meet those requirements and are looking for a waiver from the state.

Hard-hit Hamden, which saw 40 inches of snow, is one of them. They've canceled April vacation but that might not be enough.

"We have two more days to work with, but if we have any additional weather events, I'm appealing to the commissioner and state legislators about possibly looking to a waiver," said Hamden Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz.

Others are considering the same.

Wallingford's superintendent said he'd like the Board of Education to also apply for a waiver.

They'll talk about it at their next meeting next Monday.

As it stands right now, students in Wallingford will be in school until June 28.Officials have  already cut two days from the April break, so options are starting to run out.

While Seymour lost 11 days so far this year – the biggest chunk coming from Hurricane Sandy and Blizzard Charlotte - it still has a number of days to play with. In fact, while originally scheduled to be off for the holiday, students there had class Monday and will again on Tuesday to help make up some missed time.

"My understanding in regard to the waiver, until we've exhausted any scheduled breaks in the calendar as well as the legal holidays, the state would not look favorably," said Seymour Superintendent Christine Syriac. "So we know continuing, we'd need to take the days off from April."

It's very rare to get a waiver like this granted. They recently approved one for Newtown after the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but this is a different situation.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News reached out to the state Department of Education for comment, but since it's a holiday no one responded to those requests.

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