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May 10, 2017 12:21 PM

NH school district considers eliminating February, April school vacations

CONWAY — Conway students may no longer enjoy February and April school vacations after the policy committee proposed a resolution to eliminate the time off.

"I think this will generate quite a bit of discussion from many different perspectives," said Kevin Richard, SAU 9 superintendent.

The Conway School Board's policy committee presented the resolution to eliminate the two vacation weeks to the full board Monday.

Richard said this would allow students to get out of school earlier, as opposed to staying until late June.

"In New Hampshire with the weather conditions, if you look statewide at the number of cancellation days, you start to bump into the late parts of June and it starts to affect efficiency," Richard said.

Due to contractual obligations, Richard said the school year could not start sooner to allow students to get out earlier.

In past surveys, the idea of taking away the two week-long vacations generally garnered a "50/50 split," Richard said.

With the elimination of the two vacations, Richard believes the general feel is to put just one week-long vacation in place sometime between the current February and April vacations.

SAU 9 Board Chairwoman Nancy Kelemen said she is in support of the resolution because it opens the board up to a discussion on this proposal, but did not say if she supports the elimination of the vacations.

Now that the resolution has been brought forth, the committee will work on drafting a policy that will be brought to the full board for a first reading.

"There will be many people who will weigh in on this in the community," Richard said.

Following a second reading, the board could vote to put the policy into effect.

The proposal to remove February and April vacations would only affect the Conway School District and not the rest of SAU 9 or SAU 13, Richard said.

As of right now, the posted 2017-18 school year calendar shows vacation weeks scheduled for Feb. 19-23 and April 22-29.

According to the Department of Education, public and private schools are required to maintain a calendar of at least 945 hours of instruction for elementary schools and 990 hours of instruction for middle and high schools. School districts and private schools may have fewer than 180 days as long as they meet the required number of hours of instruction.

NH1 News has reached out to Conway Board Chairman Joe Lentini for comment on the resolution and is awaiting a response.

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