Snow day will eat into vacation time for students

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | This weekend’s snowfall and the dangerous road conditions that followed forced Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River schools to close Monday.

Children across Riverhead Town had a ball in the white stuff earlier this week, but they’ll pay later to make up for those snow days.

Both Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River school districts are already out of snow days due to multiple school closures during Hurricane Sandy and the storm’s aftermath.

And school officials are now finding themselves reducing vacation days.

To make up for Monday’s snow day, officials said the Riverhead School District will be open March 25, which was part of a five-day spring break. The Riverhead school board designated two other spring break vacation days, March 27 and March 28, as regular school days if the district requires any additional snow days.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the region in late October, school districts across Long Island revised their calendars after closing for several days. This was done to comply with the state’s mandate of requiring districts to offer a minimum of 180 school days.

The Riverhead school board revised its calendar, requiring students to make up Sandy-lost days on Nov. 6 and May 28, both superintendent’s conference days.

The Shoreham-Wading River School District, which lost five school days due to Sandy, has already declared mid-winter vacation days, Feb. 21, Feb. 22 and one spring break vacation day, April 1, as regular school days. Since the district was closed on Monday and Tuesday due to the blizzard, it will now also be opened for classes Feb. 19 and Feb. 20.

The diminished five-day mid-winter break leaves students with only one day off on Feb. 18, Presidents’ Day.

If the Shoreham-Wading River School District needs to declare any additional school days, the school board has designated, in this order, March 27 and March 25 as days that would become regular school days.

When asked why the district required an additional snow day this week, Superintendent Steven Cohen said, “Buses simply can’t negotiate the streets safely.”

Riverhead Superintendent Nancy Carney also said Riverhead schools were closed because of unsafe driving conditions.

Ms. Carney also confirmed the boiler at Riley Avenue Elementary School broke down sometime during the blizzard and has since been fixed.

None of five school districts in Southold Town closed this week due to the storm, but each had a two-hour delayed opening Monday.

The delayed openings do not affect any vacation days.

[email protected]