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· One individual that was particularly for this proposal was one of TMHS's guidance counselors, Mrs. Hanny. One point she made is day care issues for the parents. There are not many daycares that will take kids for just one week. Another statement made by Mrs. Hanny is by shutting down the school, we will save money.
· Another individual is a TMHS teacher, cheer leading coach, and softball assistant coach, Miss Nici. She also agrees with our proposal. Miss. Nici believes that there are three main advantages: One being not exposing students and teachers to sweltering heat in June, the second advantage being giving both teachers and students more time to get summer jobs, and the third advantage was that with this proposal, teachers have an extra week to prepare students for CAPT testing. Also, it was stated that it is easier to get students to focus in the middle of the year rather than at the end of the year.
· Pat Donnelly, secretary of the Board of Education at TMHS, is a supporter of cutting February break. When interviewed, Pat said, "I have proposed the February Vacation cut each year when the Board of Education starts to discuss the calendar". She also commented on benefits saying, "I believe this would be beneficial to both students and families as the February break is a childcare hardship to working families and as you stated in your opening comment, students have just recently returned from the Holiday break. There is then another week long break in April. Summer is too short and does not give older students enough work time. The jobs are often taken by students whose school districts end earlier in June". She has refuted the opposition by stating, "The continuing argument has been that it is flu season and the school needs to be closed to rid the school of germs and desensitize. My statement to that is that a 4 or 5 day weekend would do the same thing and save 3 days at the end of the year. Also now that the H1N1 flu is so prevalent, that argument is no longer valid as the H1N1 is a yearlong virus and does not have a season. In fact last year, the H1N1 was stronger in the Fall when students go to school from September to December with no break! The February vacation is a 'creature of habit'. Many schools throughout Connecticut have eliminated the February vacation all together. Some have gone to a 4 or 5 day weekend. Others just have the long 3 day weekend. A couple of schools last year had 1 or 2 days attached for professional development. This shortens the school year in June ". Pat suggested that we contact Dr. Jolin and attend Board of Education meetings.



· With this information, we have decided to:
1. Create surveys for students, teachers, and parents about the issue and our solution. *The surveys have been made and will be passed out during lunches today. 5/27
2. Make a petition, and get as many signatures and supporters as possible.
3. Use the evidence and information to persuade authority figures to become supporters.
4. Go to Board of Education meetings to listen, and state our arguments. *There are other steps to be taken after we gain support, but these four are our initial start of our action plan*



· Results from our first survey:
Do you agree with the proposal to cut February Vacation for a longer summer vacation? Yes = 124, No = 75
Do you believe it would effect our school in a positive way? Yes = 117, No = 82
Do you believe that the pros outweigh the cons? Yes = 112, No = 87
Do you believe that it is a practical proposal? Yes = 126, No = 73

· The results show that most people who were surveyed were FOR this proposal.


· Our Alternative Policies group has created an online survey to help choose the proposal that most people agree with. Please help us by voting.