Riverhead School District

Will Riverhead do away with February break?

The Riverhead school board at Tuesday's meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)
The Riverhead school board at Tuesday’s meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Students and teachers in Riverhead could soon say goodbye to their mid-winter break.

A proposal for the 2015-16 school calendar for the Riverhead School District would establish new breaks during the spring instead of the traditional five-day break in February. The district is considering the change since time off during winter breaks surrounding the holidays, coupled with snow days, has become disruption to student instruction.

But some say more discussion is needed before the change is made.

Gary Karlson, a vice president of the teachers’ union, addressed the school board at Tuesday’s meeting and expressed his displeasure about the district’s decision.

“A calendar vote isn’t something we usually remark upon, but we also view it as a violation of contract language and will be treating it as such,” he said. “Initially, we don’t see a benefit [to eliminating the February break] to any stakeholder.”

Superintendent Nancy Carney said the mid-winter recess in February was created during the oil crisis in the 1970s and believes it would be more beneficial to students and their families if those vacation days were moved to the spring.

“Between having the long Christmas break that we had, all of the snow days [and] midterms for older kids, it felt like kids were really suffering from not having consistency,” she said. “Many kids during that February break end up staying home — their parents work and they have to have child care.

“This is really a structurally sound decision for students and something that’s very beneficial for families.”

The school board decided to hold off on voting on the school calendar until its next meeting on March 24.

2015-16 Proposed Calendar