BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The board of education approved the calendar for the 2018-2019 school year, despite a few concerns about how late the spring break will be that year.
The spring break for that year is scheduled for the week of April 22 through April 26, 2019, coinciding with Passover and Easter on April 21.
“My concern is regarding testing, it falls right into the testing window, and I’m concerned that having the big break at the end time of the year is going to be an issue,” board vice president Melanie Thiesse said. “Having it in the middle of March or earlier in the school year might be better.”
Board president Jill Gladstone said she looked at a couple of other Somerset County calendars to see if they were in sync with Bridgewater-Raritan’s, and they all had spring break that week.
Superintendent Russell Lazovick said spring break always happens during the window of PARCC, but they can move testing if they have to.
“And the AP exams are usually the first two weeks of May, and the curriculum is usually over before then so they’re doing some reviews and stuff,” Gladstone said.
Board member Lynne Hurley said she is concerned that the spring break is so late in the school year.
“It’s a really late break for kids, 16 weeks from the winter holiday,” she said. “It seems like a long stretch before the kids get a break, and that’s what stuck out to me.”
“It seemed like an inordinate amount of time before the break, so it didn’t seem logical to me,” she added.
Board member Lisa Weinstock said she believes the calendar is good from a standpoint of continuous learning.
“There’s a value in that,” she said. “I like the calendar the way it is.”
Gladstone said she is also comfortable with the calendar the way it is.
Weinstock also said that one advantage of having spring break when it is is that Take Your Child to Work Day falls during it, which means they won’t lose a lot of students that day.
Board member Barry Walker said he was wondering about the give back days, because there had once been discussion about them being at the end of the year before graduation.
“We have started the conversation, and we can bring it up again,” Lazovick said. “It was not necessary to delve into that at this time.”
“I would rather take give back days at the end of the school year,” he added. “Bridgewater-Raritan High School graduation would not move. This is something we can discuss next March to make change for the year after calendar.”
The calendar as approved has the school year starting Sept. 6, 2018, with the last day of school on June 20, 2019.
If all the snow days allotted in the calendar are not used, the schools will be closed on June 7, May 31 and May 28, in that order, with decisions made in that order.
If there is excessive inclement weather, leading to more days off than accounted for in the calendar, school may be opened on April 26, April 25 and April 24, in that order.