Superstorm Sandy Destroyed the February Break

Superstorm Sandy devastated so much of our Island. Now we can add the February break to the list.

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The 124 school districts across Nassau and Suffolk had no choice but to close in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and the Nor'easter.  The New York State Department of Education mandates that students receive 180 days of instruction each school year.  If there are less days of school, districts can lose state aid.  As we know, the schools need every penny. These unplanned extended School Closings have put a lot of districts between a rock and a hard place, so to speak, as they scramble to get enough school days completed.

Unfortunately, the beloved February break has been axed by many districts with many more set to vote on amending their calendars.  Classes will be in session for the week of February 18th, with the exception of the President's Day, the federal holiday on Monday.  For many families, this is a prime week to take a vacation.  Some hit the ski slopes, other escape to the warmth and hit the beach.  Regardless of your destination, there is now the issue of canceling the trip or calling your child in absent. 

Senator Charles Schumer has made this plea to airline and cruise companies "Many of these schoolchildren, faculty and families have gone through extreme personal and economic hardship, and I urge you to take into consideration the unique and unpredictable circumstances that these families were forced into by this devastating storm."  He has requested that companies refund or credit customers who made deposits on travel during the week in February.  Delta, JetBlue and USAirways are considering the request.

It is such a tough call to make as a parent!  There isn't a box to fill in on an AP Test that there was a natural disaster.  There is also the overwhelming disappointment of canceling an anticipated vacation.  What to do?  I am pretty sure that there will be a high rate of absenteeism that week.  School nurses might hear about new illnesses such as "Florida-itis." Will you kiss your sandy February vacation good-bye?

We'd like to hear about your President's week vacation plans and what you are going to do with your kids on Long Forum.