The School Committee voted at Thursday’s online meeting to eliminate April vacation, meaning the final day of school is scheduled for June 17.
Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh recommended the change.
“Because we started our remote instruction sort of full force on the sixth of April, this past Monday, if we do this for nine days, because we will still have Good Friday off [tomorrow], I think that to have four days then off after that would be a big interruption to the momentum that we have established,” she said. “Our attendance has been good, teaching and learning has been going well, so I would think it would not be in our best interest to interrupt teaching and learning at this time.”
Added Cavanaugh: “Our kids — another benefit — would be able to get out of school on [June] 17th, as opposed to the 23rd. And I think what’s nice about this is, if we can imagine that the stay at home order would be lifted by then, it will be really nice for our kids to be able to enjoy another four days of true summertime, as opposed to four days of sort of being idle in the house without any kind of education or interaction between teachers and students.”
Cavanaugh shared a survey of 408 HPS teachers/staffers, and it indicated that 77.2 percent supported the elimination of April vacation, while 22.8 percent wanted to keep the vacation week intact.
There will not be remote learning on Monday, April 20, which is the state holiday Patriots Day, but there will be classes the remainder of the week.
Also at Thursday’s meeting Cavanaugh shared that the Junior Prom, normally held in May, has been rescheduled to Nov. 14.
Cavanaugh also offered a reminder that all school fields are closed. This has been an ongoing issue, as youngsters have continued to meet and practice sports on the fields despite orders to avoid congregating.
“Please try to honor that request that our fields are closed and students should not be using them,” Cavanaugh asked of parents.