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Long Island

More districts doing away with winter break

The movement is accelerating across Long Island to use February's midwinter school break to make up for class time lost to superstorm Sandy.

Nassau County's Board of Cooperative Educational Services voted last night to keep classes open Feb. 19-22 -- days normally set aside for the midwinter recess. Eastern Suffolk BOCES approved the same schedule change Wednesday, and Western BOCES did so Tuesday.

The regional BOCES provide special services to the Island's public school districts, such as vocational classes, and changes in their scheduling often reflect wide-ranging trends.

Western Suffolk BOCES reported Thursday, for example, that all 18 school districts within its service area had canceled all or most of the weeklong February break.

Nassau BOCES had no precise figure, but said the majority of its 56 districts probably would follow suit.

"What we know is that our No. 1 job is educating our students, so we have to make sure they get as much instructional time as they need," Nassau BOCES superintendent Thomas Rogers said.

Eastern Suffolk BOCES reported that 18 of its 50 districts had canceled all or part of the midwinter breaks, and that other systems were considering the move.

The eastern portion of the Island was less affected by Sandy.

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