Schools across Long Island were closed again Monday when the latest winter storm dumped nearly a foot of heavy snow, making roads impassable and travel dangerous.
The snowy blast comes on the heels of winter storm Hercules, which brought 14 inches of snow to some areas, and storm Janus, which blanketed the Island on Jan. 21, leaving students and parents on the Island to wonder if these snow days will affect upcoming vacation days.
Bob Lowry, the deputy director of NYS Council of School Superintendents, says not necessarily.
“The law states that schools must have 180 session days,” he tells the Press. “But most districts have some overage built into their schedules” to allow for some flexibility.
The days on the school calendar are largely at the discretion of the individual district, allowing for religious and cultural differences. While many upstate schools recognize the first day of hunting season, Jericho schools are closed in honor of Yom Kippur, for example.
Hank Grishman, superintendent of Jericho schools, schedules 186 days per school year. This allows for the schools to be closed due to inclement weather without cutting into vacation days. He’s quick to point out, however, that although that is a benefit to the extra scheduled days, it isn’t the main reason.
“More [school] is better,” he states simply.
Grishman counsels that for parents and students who are concerned about falling behind, many districts have course outlines up online so that assignments can be kept up with on a continuing pace.
Last year, most districts on Long Island were closed for eight days, which in some instances eliminated April vacations as well as cut short the days around Memorial Day weekend.
So far, April vacations look like they will be unaffected. But with more storms predicted toward the middle and end of this week, the outlook is cloudy.