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Brutal Winter Could Mean Saturday Classes For Some New Jersey Students

FORT LEE, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — A brutal winter packed with snow days has put local schools in a predicament. Now, some New Jersey schools are considering Saturday make-up days.

The Fort Lee (N.J.) School District is already two snow days in the hole. They quickly burned through their allotted two and have used two more because of bad weather.

On Monday night, the Board of Education was trying to figure out a way to make those days up. One possibility would be four-hour Saturday school sessions, which could start as soon as March 15. Another option involves taking days away from future breaks, but the district doesn’t want to ruin anyone’s vacation plans. A third option would add days at the end of the school year, but officials say that isn’t always productive.

“The least collateral damage is going to be a half-day on Saturday,” said schools Superintendent Paul J. Saxton.

The board hopes to make a decision by its next meeting on Feb. 24.

Fort Lee students and parents who spoke to CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco were split on the idea of Saturday sessions.

“I’m all for it instead of taking off a break because we’ve done it before, and nobody shows up anyway, so it’s better to do it on a Saturday,” said Zouhare Albaround, a Fort Lee High School student.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea because then we don’t get any of our breaks taken away,” student Roberto Tores said.

“I would rather they just add days to the end of the year,” said Orlando Santoni, a Fort Lee High student.

“It will be an issue for parents because usually Saturdays are family days,” parent Smadar Shemmesh said. “You have some people with religious obligations on Saturdays.”

“I don’t think Saturdays work well,” said Howard Pearl, a father. “My kids are involved in a lot of other sports and activities, and I don’t want to deprive them of that.”

Some students think adding extra days in June makes more sense.

“As it is, they’ve been starting late because of construction on the high school for the past two years,” Camel Shemmesh said. “It’s their own issue, and they shouldn’t be taking it out on the students. As it is, we give them a lot of our time.”

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