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Vandalia school schedule changed

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By Dave Bell

Because of the unusual number of snow days this winter, students in the Vandalia school district will be attending class on four days they were scheduled to have a full or half-day off.
Full school days now will be held on Presidents Day (Feb. 21) and Casimir Pulaski Day (March 7), as well as two days previously scheduled for half days, because of inservice training for teachers (March 4 and April 1).
The decision was made by the board of education and the superintendent, due to the number of snow days taken during December and January. The district took five snow days in January and five in December.
“We allow five snow days in our schedule,” said Superintendent Rich Well, “but five more is a significant amount of classroom time to lose.
“Lots of reasons went into the decision. Most important was the students’ preparation for the standardized tests. We want to give our students the best shot in those tests, and these days will help prepare them. This is the best thing for the kids educationally.”
He said that the decision to make up the days early in the semester – rather than just tacking them on to the end of the school year – was also made to work with students’ families.
“To add them to the end of the school year wouldn’t help with preparations for the standardized tests and it could conflict with family vacation plans,” Well said.
With the exception of those four days, nothing else will change in the district’s schedule. Spring break will still be April 18-22 and graduation will remain May 21.
The schedule changes were communicated to students and parents Tuesday evening through the automated SchoolMessenger telephone system.