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Franklin Regional spring break cut short by make-up days, but not for everyone

Patrick Varine
| Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, 5:12 p.m.
Franklin Regional Senior High School
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional Senior High School

Spring break will be two days shorter this year in the Franklin Regional School District, but several district families have no plans to cut short the trips they've scheduled.

“When we've made travel plans, we always follow through with our spring break plans, regardless,” said Marcy Brown, whose son attends Franklin Regional Senior High School. “My family lives out of state and time with them is too precious.”

Poor road conditions led to a second weather-related cancellation for FR students on Jan. 30 and a third on Feb. 7.

Two of the district's three built-in make-up days fall during its annual spring break, and the most recent cancellations will be made up on March 28 and 29, what would have been the first days of that break.

Brown, who grew up in Kentucky and lived in Maryland for several years, said she was “completely unprepared for what I see as a wacky schedule.”

“I'd never heard of not getting an entire week off for spring break,” she said. “Because I'm not a native and have always had family to visit in multiple states, once I make my travel plans, they're set.”

District communications director Cara Zanella said the district's three make-up days “enable the students to meet the required 180 days of school and keep us from having to extend the school year in June.”

According to the current contract between the district and its teacher union, the Franklin Regional Education Association, any additional cancellation after the Presidents Day make-up day can be either a student make-up day or a professional development day for employees, at the district's discretion.

Nandita Pearce has two conflicts: not only does the family have spring break plans, but her son is scheduled for both a doctor and orthodontist appointment on Feb. 19, which will be the first make-up day of the school year.

“I will get doctor's excuses (for Feb. 19),” Pearce said. “But I'm not changing spring break plans — family time is too important.”

Shayla Anthony planned on heading out of state with her three children late in the day on March 27. That trip has been canceled.

“With the cost of flights increased by the one-day difference and the lack of time, it just isn't worth it,” Anthony said. “I would rather see extra days at the end of the year between the last school day and graduation, but I know other parents that disagree.”

Joelle Corna said the prospect of an unexcused absence didn't faze her family.

“We were on the ‘naughty' list two years ago for our Disney trip,” Corna said. “Best trip ever with our four kids. Couldn't tell you what they missed in school — grades were fine — but the memories of that trip are priceless.

“Go on vacation, I say,” she said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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