Fort Lee among school districts to juggle calendar to make up for snow days

Students may be enjoying the recent snow days caused by repeated winter storms and frigid weather, but they will be paying for it later. (2/7/14)

FORT LEE - Students may be enjoying the recent snow days caused by repeated winter storms and frigid weather, but they will be paying for it later.

School districts are scrambling to juggle their calendars to make up class time, after burning through all their snow days.

By law, New Jersey school districts must provide 180 days of instruction, and that is forcing some districts to get creative to make up those days.

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"It's really interfering with our studies," says Shawn Carter, a Fort Lee student. "I'd honestly much rather be in school."

Parents also have to make accommodations each time the districts cancel school. "We take turns, my wife and I," says Juan Caicedo. "One of us has to stay home with our daughter."

In Fort Lee, the school calendar has two built-in days, and they have used four. In order to make up those two days, the district is considering several options, including taking time away from upcoming winter and spring breaks, or adding days to the end of the year.  Neither is popular.

Fort Lee's superintendent is now floating another option for making up missed class time, but it's not perfect.

"A half-day on Saturday," says Paul Saxton. "My only concern, there are the rec programs on Saturday. I'd have to schedule around that."

When adding days to the end of the year, schools have to consider overlap with summer school and other programs.

For an extended interview with Fort Lee's superintendent, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.

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