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Board approves 2015-16 calendar

The Board of Education Tuesday unanimously voted to delay implementing a state-mandated calendar for 2015-16.

Instead, it adopted one that is similar to the approved calendars for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Since its March 25 meeting, the board has been contemplating two calendar proposals that were in line with the state Uniform Regional School Calendar, which must be in place for the 2016-17 school year.

However, since that meeting the state House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation that would delay the mandated uniform calendars from 2015-16 to 2016-17. The bill, if Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs it into law, also allows districts to waive enactment until 2017-18. Malloy received the bill on May 14.

The General Assembly's Education Committee convened the Uniform Regional School Calendar Task Force in February with the goal to find savings, especially in areas such as transportation and teacher training.

The first day of school in the approved 2015-16 school calendar is set for Aug. 31 -- the Monday before Labor Day -- and includes a long February break. A uniform calendar would move the first day of school from the Monday before Labor Day to the Wednesday before Labor Day.

Though the registrars of voters are working to move the polling places out of the schools, and have done so for all but Hindley Elementary, there is still no school on Election Day in the 2015-16 calendar.

Board member Christa McNamara questioned if that day could be added back into the calendar if the registrars manage to move the last polling place out of the school.

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary School Tim Canty told McNamara that Election Day serves as a good professional development day for the teachers. Furthermore, in the uniform calendars, no school in the state will be in session on Election Day.

Canty said the community is accustomed to calendars such as the 2015-16 one, with holidays that are consistent with past school years.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews

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