NISKAYUNA – In order to meet state requirements and keep two beloved traditions, Niskayuna Central School District has added more instructional time to its 2017-18 calendar.
At the Aug. 15 regular Board of Education meeting, the board approved the revised calendar which now requires students and teachers to be in class on the day before Thanksgiving. It also changes the last day of school — June 20 — from a half-day to a full day for kindergarten through 8th grade students and adjusts ending times for half-days.
Earlier this spring, the state Education Department issued memos clarifying when half-days can be counted and when they cannot.
The revised schedule will meet the state requirements and still allow the district to host freshman and kindergarten orientations, both longstanding district traditions.
On Wednesday, Sept. 6, freshmen will have the high school halls to themselves, kindergartners will start orientations and first- through eighth-graders will also take their seats.
On Thursday, Sept. 7, kindergartners will continue orientation and tenth- through twelfth-graders will file through the doors for their first day of school.
Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. said there are three snow days built into the schedule, so if school has to be canceled more than three times for weather or other emergencies, the board may have to discuss other ways to meet state obligations. Some of the options could include shortening the winter break or the February break.
The state sets the requirement for the number of instructional days, and the current collective bargaining agreement with the teachers recommends between 182 and 187 days. The newly revised calendar includes 185 days.
The updated calendar may be found on the school’s website, at niskyschools.org.