Citing concerns that this will be a hard winter with lots of snow and weather-related emergencies, the UFT and the NYCDOE released a joint statement this morning informing New York City parents, students, teachers and administrators that Spring Break has been canceled too.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in the statement that NYC students must be in school 180 days by law and he is worried that a hard winter might bring the school day count under the 180 day requirement.
"We must be preemptive in adding these days back to the school year before they're lost," Walcott said, noting that the NYCDOE and the UFT had already come to a similar agreement over Winter Break.
"Look," Walcott told reporters outside Tweed Headquarters this morning, "We canceled three vacation days in February even though we didn't have to, even though kids are in school 180 days already this year. So it just makes sense that we do the same with Spring Break and make sure our kids are getting the best test prep they can possibly get."
UFT President Michael Mulgrew's whereabouts were unknown today, but Mulgrew concurred with what Walcott and the NYCDOE wanted in the joint NYCDOE/UFT statement.
"We're a solution-oriented union," Mulgrew is quoted as saying in the statement, "And we see adding these days back to the school year that we haven't actually lost from the school year yet as the best solution to a problem that doesn't actually exist. How's that for solution-oriented!"
Chancellor Walcott told reporters that it is possible Summer Break might have to be canceled too, depending upon how bad the weather reports for the winter and spring are in the next few weeks.
"We've moved beyond simply reacting to events," he said as he dashed off to make pancakes at a school in TriBeCa. "Now we proactively handle things before they're even a problem. And losing school days to future weather patterns that haven't actually materialized yet isn't really a problem. But we're going to solve it anyway."