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School District Proposes Changes to Fall Break

A proposed fall break for the 2014-15 school year entails three days off instead of five.

Fall break for Woodbridge students may be abbreviated next school year under a proposed school year calendar for the 2014-15 school year.

District superintendent Robert Zega and board of education members Daniel Harris, Judy Leidner and Monica Michelle Smith oversaw a public hearing on the proposed calendar Thursday night in the cafeteria of Woodbridge Middle School.

Zega said the biggest change to the calendar is the proposed alteration to fall break. This past fall break entailed a full week of days off for students, something that is not done by many other area districts, Zega said.

Information provided by the district looking at other Middlesex County school districts showed that only three other county districts gave students the whole week off: East Brunswick, Edison and Spotswood.

The highest concentration of districts in the county gave their students three days off during the break, according to the information.

Woodbridge would have Tuesday, Nov. 4 off as well as Thursday, Nov. 6 and Friday, Nov. 7, under the proposed calendar.

They would attend school on Monday, Nov 3 and Wednesday, Nov. 5.

November also contains a half-day on Nov. 26 and two days off for Thanksgiving recess on Thursday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 28.  

Additionally, the calendar contains changes to half-days.

The elementary schools would see half-days on October 21-24 for parent teacher conferences, and again on Feb. 26-27, 2015. 

The high schools would have half-days on January 26-27, 2015 for testing. June 11, 2015 is also a proposed half-day for the high schools and middle schools. 

The last week of school in June would end in half-days for the entire district, with school ending on Wednesday, June 18, 2015. 

Zega said the half days were to accommodate finals and graduation practice at the high schools. By contract, teachers are also given that time to clean out their classrooms and get their final grades in, he said.

Ending the year earlier in June has advantages, he said.

Woodbridge High School does not have extensive air conditioning and one teacher there reported temperatures of 110 degrees in her classroom last year, Zega said.

A late end to the school year also conflicts with the start dates of summer camps and early college enrollment programs, Zega said. 

"All the more reason to get out early," he said. 

A final vote on the calendar will be on the agenda of the next board of education meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Avenel Middle School. 

To view the proposed calendar, click here

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the proposed changes to the school year calendar. The proposed fall break for the 2014-15 school year entails days off on Tuesday, Nov. 4, Thursday, Nov. 6 and Friday, Nov. 7. Thanksgiving break remains Nov. 26-28. 
WC509 January 10, 2014 at 07:12 PM
@Jennifer -"This past Thanksgiving break entailed a full week of days off for students, something that is not done by many other area districts, Zega said" . This is wrong it wasn't Thanksgiving week it was election day week ....
George Murphy January 14, 2014 at 08:39 PM
With 600-plus school districts in New Jersey alone, we need to lasso in, and establish a state-wide school calendar. With the exception of certain, several and concentrated holiday observations, there should not be so many days off. In another post about Christie lengthening the school year and school day, I proposed some of my own ideas about this. You see, so many folks are more interested in reservations at Disney World that it would not sit too well to have everyone on vacation at once. I do not believe that children need to be in school during the summer months, but I do believe that they all need some structured activities within that time span. Now, so far as air conditioning in the classrooms, every building (and most especially in high-tax-paying districts) must have equal take on the funding. Abbott districts sucked this money up like a Hoover vacuum cleaner.
Mother of 2 January 22, 2014 at 12:57 PM
George- some of the schools in the district have a/c. I know my daughter's elementary school does. The schools shouldn't even have off at all that week in November. If they want to give them more time off, give them the entire week of Thanksgiving, like some other districts have done. It's ridiculous- the 1st 3 months of the school year, I think the kids are out of school more than in.

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