School Board Discussed Sandy “Make-up” Days

Clarkstown school superintendent recommended using scheduled Superintendent Conference Days in February and March as make-up days


Clarkstown Schools closed for six days in October and November due to Hurricane Sandy.  Superintendent J. Thomas Morton told the school board on Wednesday he was still waiting for direction from the state on how the missed days should be handled.  Since he had not received any information, Dr. Morton recommended the board move forward with using the scheduled Superintendent’s Conference Days - February 4 and March 15, 2013 - as Sandy “Makeup” days.  

Board President Joe Malgieri said the district must first discuss the proposal with its eight unions and get their agreement before taking any action and he asked the superintendent to start working with them.  Dr. Morton recommended using the Superintendent’s Conference Days instead of taking time from the two Winter and Spring Recess weeks of February 18 to 22 and March 25 to 29. He did not offer a specific suggestion of make-up dates for the other four days that were missed.

Currently the district has four snow days built in the calendar for the 2012-2013 school year.  If school does not have close for inclement weather, he said, then the issue of the four remaining Sandy make-up days would be resolved.

“If there are additional snow days you will have to make decisions,” Dr. Morton told the board members.

He said if it is necessary to have snow days, the district could have a delayed opening instead of closing completely for the day.  Dr. Morton said even if the schools opened three hours later than usual, the district would still be credited for a full day. 

Malgieri thought the suggestion for the two makeup days was viable. 

“This really would be a good start to try to fix the problem,” he said.

Board member Diane Hoeneveld agreed the vacation weeks should remain intact if possible. She advised against planning to use any of the February Winter Recess days for make-up because of the risk they could turn out to be snow days. Malgieri said another reason for not switching the recess days to regular school days was that people have plans and many students may not show up and possibly teachers also. He said if a class is only half filled, the teachers would not introduce any new material. 

Allison Jaynes of New City spoke about the length of time that had passed between the hurricane and the board meeting with little information being provided to parents about the status of make-up days.  She noted other school districts decided what to do about the missed days and that bothered Clarkstown parents. 

“People are anxious for a variety of reasons,” she said.

Dr. Morton said the board will begin working on resolving the issue.

“The plan is to come forward with a step by step procedure that is going to happen (and) let everybody know what that is,” he said. 

Strawtown Elementary School parent Irene Tagaris said some parents delayed making plans for the vacation weeks because they were waiting for a district decision.

“It’s frustrating for us parents,” she said.

Tagaris thought the days should be made up even if it meant cutting the recess weeks short because the students missed valuable learning time. 

“Just make up the days,” she said.  “The kids need to make those days up.”



Sigmund Freud December 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Didn't the last teacher's union president resign because he said he wanted to file lawsuits? Was this a true resignation or was he forced to resign?
Deejay December 07, 2012 at 04:58 PM
The only employees off during those breaks are the teachers and aides. Except for the actual holidays themselves, pretty much anyone else taking off during those days has to use vacation days.
Jonathan Swift December 08, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Sigmund, I think the teacher's union endorsement of Phil Deagatano was not well received by anyone, whether it be teachers or the public. The timing of the prior president's "resignation" during the last board elections speaks volumes. It's time to move forward and put the ugliness of the prior board members and CTA president behind us. The are all IRRELEVANT now.
ADK December 12, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Town Board Observer, I can't quarrel with your assertion about Joe' s ability to run a Board meeting, but your logic escapes me relative to negotiation of Union Contracts...he was a member of the Teachers union for 35+ years, active in the Union hierarchy....his wife is a teacher in the district, and so her salary is directly related to the negotiations, and his pension is in part due to Union negotiated contracts. I'm not even sure that he can be involved in any of the negotiations with the teachers (by far the most critical of the 8 Unions) because of the conflict of interest...
Sigmund Freud January 04, 2013 at 04:07 PM
ADK, are you attempting to make the new BOE look incompetent? It is extremely disheartening for a previous BOE member to be espousing false information to the community. First of all, you know the BOE does NOT negotiate with any unions! If you read President Malgieri's quote it said the district and specifically the superintendent needed to negotiate with the unions, not him. ADK, you just seem to love bringing up the fact that President Malgieri's wife works in the district. How come it was ok for the former superintendent to be married to a staff member and negotiate her contract? You were on the BOE when that occurred if memory serves me right. You and another former BOE member/spouses socialized and still do with the former superintendent but you never mention any of this. Why? We all know President Malgieri's past affiliations with CCSD and CTA. Why do you fill the need to keep being so negative and cause angst where there is none? Those days are over ADK. We all know your involvement over the past few years. The community spoke and elected new BOE members. Everything is running smoothly which must be hard for you take so you twist quotes to suit your purpose. Enough ADK. We all know what really happened these past few years. We've moved forward. So sorry you can't do the same. Meantime, please stop making false innuendos.


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