91% Showed Up

After the school district canceled February break at the last minute to make up for lost snow days, student attendance remained high, school officials reported.

Because school was canceled all last week due to Winter Storm Nemo, the school district decided to take away most of February break, which was slated for this week. Classes resumed Tuesday.

Most students showed up, reported schools spokeswoman Abbe Smith: 91 percent of students attended school Tuesday, a slight decline from the district’s daily average attendance of 94 percent.

Attendance at individual schools ranged from 56 percent at New Horizons, an alternative high school, to 98 percent at Ross Woodward, an interdistrict magnet school. Eighty-two percent of students showed up at Wilbur Cross, the city’s largest high school, which is about average for that school; 89 percent showed up at James Hillhouse High, which is higher than usual, according to numbers released by the district.

Click here for a school-by-school breakdown.

Smith said she could not provide attendance data for staff.

While many supported the decision to return to class instead of missing two straight weeks of school, other students, staff and parents were outraged, in part due to the last-minute nature of the decision last Wednesday. Schools Superintendent Reggie Mayo said he originally had hoped to preserve February break, but had to cancel it when it became clear the road conditions were not safe enough for kids to return to school last Thursday or Friday. Mayo said New Haven had to make up days to comply with state law, which requires districts to hold 180 days of school before June 30.

Students with preexisting vacation plans will receive excused absences this week; teachers will have to use personal days, make up time, or take unpaid leave.file name

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