Dr. Charles asked the BOE to let her pursue a survey of Middletown teachers to see how many could teach on Tuesday, February 19, in lieu of the first day of April vacation. Monday, February 18th is President's Day, and Tuesday was the last day of February Break. Charles argued that taking February 19th, if it could be done, would allow student families and teachers/staff to have a full vacation in April. The Superintendent also told the BOE that she had spoken to all the Union Presidents, and there was no objection to her surveying the staff to see if they wanted to trade a day in February for a day in April.
BOE member Ryan Kennedy pointed out that school cannot continue into the week of June 24th because the Middletown Parks and Recreation programs start that day, and several of the school facilities are reserved for that purpose. Additionally, since most of the school buildings are not air conditioned, keeping children in school past the 21st of June is counter-productive due to how hot the buildings get inside.
The BOE agreed, and Superintendent Charles will send a Honeywell alert tomorrow morning to all Middletown teachers and staff to ask them to take a short, two question survey from a link on the district's website. Given a favorable reply (meaning most teachers can report to work and the cost for substitutes for those who can't isn't cost-prohibitive), Middletown schools will be in session on Tuesday, February 19th. If this is the case, a Honeywell alert will be sent to all Middletown families, notifying them of the change in schedule.
For those who are worried about the snow load on school roofs, Director of Facilities, Ken Jackson, had this to say: "We were very lucky that there was no snow on the roofs before the storm started, and we have actively worked since Monday to make sure that the roof drains were clear. The high winds involved with this storm worked in our favor, and in many places, there were only 6-7 inches of snow on the roofs. I am meeting with the City's building inspector tomorrow morning, and we will be inspecting all the school roofs to make sure our facilities are safe. I am personally confident that there are no issues with our buildings."
More on the rest of the BOE meeting in a separate post.