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Ridgewood School Officials Consider Earlier Summer Release

Mixed responses from parents and staff on calendar options to trim days off the end of the school year.

The Ridgewood Board of Education is considering calendar changes that would allow for an earlier release of students for summer vacation.

Around 50 percent of parents and teachers responded to a survey sent out last month inviting input on options for shortening the school calendar, Superintendent Dan Fishbein said last week.

Changes would be made to the 2014-15 school calendar, soon to be taken up by the district’s calendar committee.

Of those who responded to the survey, 35 percent of parents and 44 percent of staff favored shortening the February break and keeping the week-long recess in April. Twenty-five percent of parents and 45 percent of staff said they supported maintaining the existing calendar.

When given the option to eliminate the two breaks altogether and instead have a week off in March, 39 percent of parents and 11 percent of staff responded favorably. But the state testing schedule, unknown to officials at the time the survey was sent out, includes testing in March and prevents the schools from taking time off then, Fishbein said.

“The idea behind the survey was to get out earlier, if that’s possible,” he said.

Before conducting the survey, school officials had cited a need to reschedule exams for about a hundred high school students, and late June absences in other village schools due to conflicts with academic programs, work and camps beginning in the early summer.

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