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Board favors Easter vacation over spring break for next year

West Seneca School Board members chose Easter vacation over spring break for their students next year.

The board voted, 4-2, Monday night to give students a week of vacation following Easter in 2010, instead of having the break several weeks later in April.

Board member David G. Smaczniak said the district was faced with the same dilemma seven years ago when BOCES recommended splitting the two-week vacation at Easter into two separate weeks, with the second week falling at the 30th week of school.

"The switch from two weeks at Easter to a three-day [Easter] weekend was something that we couldn't stomach. West Seneca led the fight at the time to have that one week of break tied to Easter," he said.

Smaczniak, who served on the Erie 1 BOCES board, said he believed the week would be tied to Easter.

"It was something that we talked about and planned for seven, eight years in advance," he said. "At that time it was assured to me that this would not happen."

Board member Janice E. Dalbo said vacation schedules are tied to the Easter break throughout the country, and the later week is too close to Advanced Placement tests.

"It does not make any sense educationally, and I think each of us should listen to the community," Dalbo said.

She said the district has plenty of time to figure out what to do with its students who attend BOCES programs. Those students, who number about 250, will be off from school for one week when BOCES is in session and in school later that April for one week while BOCES classes will be off.

Superintendent Jean Kovach said this has come up in the past, and the district had the BOCES students stay in the library or auditorium when their BOCES classes were off.

"We make do and we will again, but it is a kind of patchwork," she said.

The dilemma of West Seneca students enrolled in BOCES led board President Carol A. Jarczyk and Vice President Mary J. Busse to vote against the calendar.

Dismay over the calendar forwarded by Erie 1 BOCES caused one board member, David G. Smaczniak, to vote against nominating two BOCES members, Judith Katz and Edward Cavan, for re-election.

"They're all wonderful and talented in what they bring to the table," Smaczniak said, adding that he was disappointed with the calendar.

Board members had little to say about the beginning of the school year, which has caused much discussion in some districts.

School will start for students Thursday, Sept. 3, before Labor Day.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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