(NECN: Jennifer Eagan, Taunton, Mass.) - Taunton, Mass. school committee chair Joseph Martin senses some may not be happy with the decision to do away with the tradition February vacation next year, but snow that just won’t stop forced the issue.
"Last year we didn’t have any bad weather, two years ago we were in the same dilemma, this year it is worse," he said from the front steps of his home Thursday as snow swirled about.
Taunton school officials have canceled four days because of snow and two because of Superstorm Sandy. The school calendar has been pushed to the brink for this year. June 28 is set as the last day, and school cannot run into July because that would violate teachers’ contracts.
On Wednesday night, the school committee came to a unanimous vote. Instead of a week off in February, students will have a four day weekend next year. They will lose three vacation days in that month, but the school year will be scheduled to end on June 16.
"As a former classroom teacher, I know from experience those last few weeks in June that get pushed forward because of days off, they are not really productive," Martin said.
Student Janae Riggins said she will miss February vacation next year.
"I want February vacation," the high school student said. "I don’t like coming to school when it is snowing."
Parents were mixed on the issue.
"We live in New England so we have to be conscious of snow days, but February vacation is usually for trips," one parent said.
"Why would you not want to enjoy more summer than this?" one parent shrugged amidst light flurries.