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Watchung Make-Up Days Include MLK, Easter Monday

Green Brook schools still considering what days to add after Sandy shuttered school for nearly two weeks.

The Watchung Board of Education had only planned to discuss what days to add to the school calendar to make up for the eight days missed because of Hurricane Sandy at Wednesday's meeting, but when members agreed on the plan, they went ahead and approved the plan.

Students will be in school on Jan. 21, Feb 14 and 15 (which will be a half-day), March 11 and April 1. One of the district's snow days built into the calendar will be used, and the school year is fixed through June 28. 

"That way, we not only make up the eight days but we maintain three snow days heading into winter," Superintendent Barbara Resko said.

In the event a major snow storm closes school again, the district plans to use Feb. 18 and March 25 first, followed by March 27 and 28.

Some members were troubled by the decision to open school on Martin Luther King Day, which is becoming a popular day of volunteer service for many people. The board voted separately on a statement expressing its support that Jan. 21 be used as a day of service in schools, with curriculum projects planned around community service, at the suggestion of member Ellyn Margulies.

"I think it could be very positive," she said.

The board members also wanted to let residents know plans for dealing with any further school closures, so families can make any vacation plans accordingly.

The Green Brook Board of Education discussed its plans for making up the days, but only acted to modify the school calendar for Nov. 9. The district had planned to be closed that day for the NJEA convention but when the convention was canceled and power restored to the schools, officials opened school.  

"On the Nov. 26, 2012, agenda we will recommend to the board four additional days and will identify which days we will take in order if we have to close school again during the remainder for the school year," Superintendent Richard Labbe said. 

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