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Winter break may melt away

Wallington's schools superintendent plans to reduce the February break.  The plan is to eliminate the full week off and replace it with long weekends. Wallington is not the only district that is tampering with the weeklong February break. Once a staple on most academic calendars since it was adopted by most New Jersey districts in the 1970s, the February break is disappearing as educators find it interrupts instruction, lengthens the school year and affects students' preparation for statewide tests that were nonexistent when the break was introduced.

Madhabi Chatterji, an associate professor at Teachers College at Columbia University who specializes in assessment tests, said that because the skills being tested are learned throughout the year, it is uncertain that readjusting one week would result in higher test scores.  "The curriculum, if it's taught the right way, the learning should be stable," Chatterji said. 

This article appeared in the Herald News.

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