MARTIN COUNTY — Winter break has been reinstated.
Facing community backlash over the decision to use predetermined emergency days to make up time missed from hurricanes Ian and Nicole, Superintendent John Millay announced a change late Friday.
Instead of cutting winter break short by two days — Dec. 19 and 20 — hurricane makeup days likely will be moved to February, March and May, the Martin County School District said in a news release.
A high numberof planned employee absences that would have made "meaningful instruction" difficult — as well as many conversations with families, employees and the unions — led Millay to reverse course and plan to reschedule the makeup days next year, the district said in the release.
“To be successful, our students need every opportunity to experience quality teaching and learning," Millay said in a prepared statement. "This is evidence-based and something we wholeheartedly believe in. After consulting with our bargaining units’ leaders and in collaboration with our School Board, our school calendar will be revised to reflect instructional makeup days that do not interfere with the valued holiday plans many of our families and employees have made."
All Treasure Coast school districts missed two days each from hurricanes Ian and Nicole. Last month, Martin County schools officials said the district would use two of the four emergency days built into the calendar to make up the lost instruction time.
Martin County is the only Treasure Coast district planning to make up the lost hurricane days. Last month, new board member Amy Pritchett questioned whether there was any way to avoid cutting short winter break.
Millay plans to recommend these calendar changes to the School Board at its Dec. 13 meeting:
• Feb. 6, currently a professional-development day, would be changed to a school day. The professional-development day would be moved to May 31.
• March 28 and May 3, currently early-release days, would be changed to full school days. The professional development planned for those days would be moved to June 1.
Colleen Wixon is the education reporter for TCPalm.com. Contact her at Colleen.Wixon@TCPalm.com or 772-978-2235.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Winter break back on for Martin County Schools: