The Herricks Board of Education was peppered with questions at their recent meeting this past Thursday night at the community center from members of Girl Scout Troop 1501 from Center Street, one of which was about days the students would need to make up because of Hurricane Sandy.
Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth told the girl scouts that at least some of the time would probably need to be made up and that it can’t be tacked on in the summer because the last day cannot be after high school Regents exams. He added that some scheduled vacations may change, such as the February break.
Dr. Bierwirth noted that the Nassau County superintendents as of Wednesday had mentioned the idea of giving up at least some of their February breaks. All New York school districts are required to have 180 days of instruction and Herricks had 183 days built into the calendar.
A total of five days were used for Hurricane Sandy and an additional day was used for the nor’easter, meaning that the district is already behind one day and the brunt of winter hasn’t happened yet.
Taking that into account, Dr. Bierwirth said that using some of the February break as instructional time would be better than using the April break. He added that there does not seem to be any blanket or regional waivers from the state to allow for less than 180 instructional days; it is being handled on a district by district basis.
The education commissioner is more apt to be understanding if there is a late snowstorm in March if the district uses some of its February break, Dr. Bierwirth said.
A final decision on making up this time was not made at the meeting.
In addition to asking about makeup days, the girl scouts asked about ice cream in the district, how to become a school board member and whether school board members are paid.