Chatham Board of Education Elects to Have School on Presidents' Day
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 • 11:01am
CHATHAM, NJ - As the Chatham school district recovers from Hurricane Sandy and prepares for its Thanksgiving break, two important pieces of business took place on Monday night at the Board of Education meeting. Phil Franza was sworn in to fill the remaining time left in Steve Barna’s three year term, which expires in April, and the Board voted to have school on Presidents’ Day, which will allow the district to recoup all three snow days lost to Sandy.
There was a lengthy debate amongst many Board members regarding the holiday that would be removed from the school calendar. Their options included New Year’s Day, Presidents Day, spring break, Memorial Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Superintendent Michael LaSusa said some districts were proposing Saturday sessions, but because of religious reasons, this was highly unlikely. Other towns such as Westfield and Livingston had already decided to hold school on Presidents' Day. LaSusa stressed he did not want to take days off of spring break.
However, some board members wanted to use Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but most opposed it because it is an important day and they didn’t feel students would learn much about it in school.
“It’s a reasonable resolution for the time being,” LaSusa said. “I had a preference for the 18th. I did not want to take Martin Luther King Day.”
LaSusa said he understands some families may be disappointed with the decision, but in situations like this, tough calls have to be made and this was what the board felt was best for the students and the district.
In other business, a summary of student discipline was presented and the board discussed the possibility of installing generators. Also, the curriculum committee talked about the policy of athletes being excused from physical education and had a discussion regarding teacher evaluations. Both issues will be debated further on Dec.15. at the next curriculum committee meeting.
The next Board of Education meeting is Monday Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m.