Snow days within limits for North Fork schools

TIM KELLY PHOTO | A child enjoys a snow day while sledding in Mattituck

This January was the snowiest on record, but as the weather warms up, snow days have become only a fond memory for schoolchildren here.

But they are still keeping local school superintendents awake at night.

Last Wednesday, superintendents from the five local districts met to discuss their snow day situations and how their schedules might be affected. State law requires schools to be open a minimum number of days, so too many snow days can create problems.

Luckily, said Mattituck Superintendent Jim McKenna, most of January’s storms allowed local districts to have delayed openings or early closings, which do not count as snow days. His district, for example, has used only two snow days so far this year, he said.

“It’s not going to snow anymore, I pray,” said Mr. McKenna, who added that his district can use two more snow days without affecting its academic calendar if it converts one superintendent conference day scheduled for this spring to a snow day.
Mr. McKenna said the district is obligated to provide 180 days of education per year, including four days that can be used for superintendent conferences.

He said the district could opt to add days after final exams are given in June.

“But did anybody ever do that?” he asked. “We’ve been very fortunate. We’ve never had to do that.”

The Southold School District has also fared well with January’s storms. The district can use up to three more snow days without a problem, district secretary Jennifer Brewer said this week.

And with no snow in the forecast and temperatures in the 50s expected by Friday, weeks of snowy weather may be behind us.

“We’re not in any danger at this point,” said Ms. Brewer.

Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda could not be reached for comment before presstime.

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