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Chappaqua Schools May Lose 2012-13 February Break

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Chappaqua parents, students and teachers may not want to get used having a week off in the middle of February. At a recent Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Lyn McKay revealed that losing the February break for the 2012-13 school year is a very real possibility.

Chappaqua and other districts state-wide, are awaiting word from the New York State Board of Regents on what date next year’s exams will be held. This school year's regents exams are being held from June 13-21, with June 22 being rating day. According to McKay, the state is considering moving up the test dates.

“If the state chooses to move their regents exams to the middle of June, then we will not have the opportunity, nor will other districts, to have the February break,” said McKay.

The potential move would impact districts as students are not allowed to return to school after rating day. If rating day is moved up, the district would need to find vacation days in the calendar leading up to the test dates.

“That’s our problem,” said McKay. “We have to find the days between when students come back after Labor Day and before rating day. If rating day moves a week, then you have to look for those days within the context.”

According to McKay, the change is likely being considered as a result of changes the regents board voted on this year to “improve integrity of the state’s tests.” The new evaluation system would prohibit teachers from grading their own students’ exams. A statewide centralized scanning and scoring system would be introduced.

Because of the uncertainty around the 2012-13 school, board members decided to postpone a discussion on the school calendar until it’s next meeting on Feb. 28 in hopes of having more answers.

“It would probably make sense to wait until they play their hand out,” said board member Randy Katchis.

If no new information is available, McKay suggested the board select a tentative 2012-13 schedule, which will be pending the state’s decision.

“They may or may not change the dates, and they may not tell us until June,” said McKay. “One never knows for sure, so at some point we have make some decisions.”

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