ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury public school students, being taught at home since March 16 due to coronavirus-related building closures, will switch to 4-day weeks and will not get a traditional spring break this year under a proposed change to the school calendar.
The proposal, to be decided April 6 by the Roxbury Board of Education, is based on the results of an online survey in which parents were asked if they preferred having the spring break or shortening the school weeks.
“With 1,876 responses to the Calendar Survey, over 80 percent have voted to change the calendar to reflect 4-day weeks for a majority of the remainder of the school year,” said the district in a statement.
Spring break was originally scheduled to take place April 13-April 17 with Good Friday (April 10), and April 9 (an unused snow day) also listed as days off.
Parents were told about the calendar survey on March 31 and had until 5 p.m. on April 1 to vote.
Subject to (Remote) Board Vote
School board meetings, including the 6 p.m. one on April 6 where the calendar change will be discussed, will take place in remote fashion for the foreseeable future, the district announced this week. This will be done using the WebEx online meeting platform. The district said it will post instructions on its website no later than April 4.
The tentative decision to eliminate spring break and switch to 4-day instruction weeks yielded spirited comments – both for and against the idea -from parents on the district’s Facebook page and other social media sites.
In a letter to parents announcing the survey, Roxbury Schools Superintendent Loretta Radulic stressed that only one response per family was sought. She cited several reasons why parents should consider the “alternative schedule” involving 4-day weeks but no spring break:
1. We have developed a schedule for our staff and students that is working.
2. It's hard to create a habit, break it, and then return to it.
3. There is an opportunity for a consistent and emotionally supportive change to four-day weeks for the majority of the remainder of the school year.
4. Should we be allowed to re-open schools, the change would allow for a more effective re-entry plan.
Under the option supported by those who participated in the survey, April 10 – April 13 would be considered spring break, the day off slated for April 9 would take place April 24, the day off slated for April 14 would take place May 1, the day off slated for April 15 would take place May 8 and the day off slated for April 16 would take place May 15.
Additionally, April 17 would change to June 5 and May 22, already listed as a snow day “giveback” day would remain off along with May 25 for Memorial Day.