No Wiggle Room In 180-Day Rule

By on February 21, 2014

The Chait family made productive use of their snow days.

The Chait family made productive use of their snow days.

With the avalanche of snow days that we’ve had so far, it’s no small wonder that the Verona Board of Education has been getting questions about whether there’s any way around the rule that we have to have 180 days of school to get state aid. The short answer is: No.

The longer answer, if you want to read all the fine print, is to be found on the New Jersey School Boards Association’s Web site.

In its guidance on making up snow days, the NJSBA notes that not only do we have to have 180 days of school, but they all have to be done by June 30 (so much for our brief thought about classes at Verona Pool). A half day can count as one of those 180 days, which is why Verona was called back in session this week on what was to have been a Winter Break day.

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But, perhaps much to the relief of Verona students, it will be difficult–if not impossible–to add classes on the weekend. We can only have school on Saturday with the approval of the Executive County Superintendent; Sunday, the NJSBA says, “will not be approved as teachers/students cannot be compelled to attend.”

The NJSBA note offers no guidance on the use of so-called virtual instruction. A former Verona resident who now lives in New Hampshire told us earlier this month that that state has approved at-home school on days when weather makes it impossible for children to get to school. Bergen County’s Pascack Valley Regional High School District is testing a virtual school day approach for New Jersey.

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