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Parents Prefer Cutting Breaks Over Extending Year

Vanessa Castillo, the mother of two Fox Run Elementary students, would prefer it if snow days were made up by shortening or eliminating a weeklong spring break rather that extending the school year. "I think we should take from their February vacation or their April vacation," says Castillo, who works at the Norwalk YMCA. "It's really unfair to take away from what little summer they have."

On Thursday, Norwalk schools were closed for the fifth time this school year, bringing the last day of school to June 25. With more snow expected next week and nearly two months of winter left to go, parents are worried about the makeup days. By state law, districts are required to have 181 days of school.

"I will be working with the board on how the days will be made up," Superintendent Susan Marks said in an email. "Right now, the days are tacked on at the end of the year." Many parents and teachers are worried about a repeat of last year, when many students and teachers were in school until June 29 because of six makeup days, most of which were caused by a March hurricane. Norwalk did not cut spring break after the March storm, as some area school districts did.

Many share Castillo's opinion. On an informal poll on The Daily Norwalk's Facebook page Thursday afternoon, 17 out of 20 of the comments indicated that readers would prefer taking days away from vacations. "sacrifice feb break—nothing gets done end of june regardless!," wrote Lynn B. Barate. However, some parents have already made vacation plans. "I hate to think about going until the end of June, but I have April vacation plans," wrote Colleen Antunes.

Where do you stand on this issue of makeup days? Would you rather extend the school year to late June or take away time from a February or April break?

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