Shortening the Thanksgiving break to make up for time off during Hurricane Hermine won’t be necessary, but the calendar still will be adjusted to cover days that schools were closed, according to a proposal from the Manatee County School District.
The school board will vote on the proposal to adjust the calendar during Tuesday’s board meeting. The district is recommending eliminating Oct. 5 and Dec. 7 as early release days to have students attend the entire day of school instead. The proposal also includes adjusting the start of the winter break, having the last day of classes be Dec. 22 instead of Dec. 21.
“I want to ensure that we optimize every opportunity for great instruction,” Superintendent Diana Greene said of the proposed change.
Greene said the district anticipated a lot of student and teacher absences if they had used the Thanksgiving days, which are designated hurricane makeup days but haven’t had to be used in the district in a long time. To make sure students and teachers are getting the most of the opportunities, Greene thought using the other days would be better.
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Those moves will make up for the two full days students had off just before Labor Day when Hermine brought in heavy rain and flooding around the county.
Although days during the Thanksgiving break are designed as hurricane makeup days, the district proposal avoids that option. After the storm, when many people thought the district might use the Thanksgiving days, many parents complained on social media they had already booked travel plans for that week.