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Saturday, November 10, 2012

School Board Faces Calendar, Chairmanship Changes

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By James Lomuscio

With five school days missed last week due to Storm Sandy, Westport’s Board of Education Monday night will grapple with making up lost time, making sure the academic year does not extend past June 21, 2013.

The school board will also, as is custom at every meeting following Election Day, hold its election of officers, an election that will be far from pro forma, Acting Chairman Jim Marpe, who took, over when Chairman Donald O’Day, a Democrat, resigned in August, has announced he will step down. Marpe, a Republican, said he will be leaving to run for First Selectman.

Regarding the school calendar, Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon noted that the hurricane used up two more than the three allotted snow days that the board had banked.

“As a result, we need to restore two instructional days for students and three for weather-related emergencies,” Landon said in a letter to the board.

With the goal of making sure the calendar includes 182 instructional days and three emergency ones, plus professional development days as the school system embraces new curriculum initiatives, Landon is taking aim at April’s spring recess.

“With the spring recess planned for April, many months in advance, any plans parents and staff might wish to make for that vacation period can be postponed or canceled,” Landon said.

The board will not make a decision on this until its Dec. 3 meeting,

“We will be discussing options for making up time lost due to the storm, but we will be voting on it Dec. 3 to make sure there’s ample time for public input before we vote,” said Elaine Whitney, board secretary.

Meanwhile, it is rumored that Whitney, a five-year board member, will assume the chairmanship of the seven-member board, though no one is commenting.

Also, with Marpe’s departure the board once again will have to choose a new member at a future meeting, this time from the Republican party.

Posted 11/10/12 at 08:52 PM


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