Don't make your plans to head on vacation for February break in 2013 just yet because there might not be a full week off.
The Millburn Board of Education split its vote on the calendar for 2012-13 during its meeting Monday night. The proposal includes cutting down February break to two days with the remaining three days being half days.
Because the board split its vote 4-4, the motion did not carry. Board President Michael Birnberg said the proposal would return at the next meeting when all board members could be present.
The school board had previously put off voting on the proposed 2012-13 calendar because of concerns about the layout of half days and how school could end on June 28.
If the proposal were to pass, school would start on Sept. 5, 2012. February break would be Feb. 18-19, 2013, and April vacation would be April 22-26, 2013. The last day of school would be June 21.
Scott Kamber, board program committee chairman, said the calendar provoked a lively discussion in the committee, but the committee members felt it was important for high school graduation not to be almost in July. "We did not want school to end later than June 21," he said.
The committee members decided to preserve breaks as much as possible, but they also didn't want to make judgement calls on religious holidays, Kamber said. For example, Rosh Hashanah will still be two days off in September and was not cut back to one day.
Kamber speculated there could be changes from the state Department of Education, though, that would allow school officials to reinstate some or all of February break.
"There's no good solution," he said. "It's one of those years where everything conspires against us."
Lisa Chapman, a board member, questioned if other things could be done, like starting school on Sept. 4 instead of Sept. 5. Not having a full break between Jan. 2 and April 20 would not be good for the students and staff, she said.
Schools Supt. James Crisfield said school officials would need a side agreement with the teachers union for the teachers to return in August, but they could work on that.
Debra Fox, a board member, said she doesn't have a problem with February break being a long weekend, but she thinks April break is too late. She would want to schedule the week off earlier.
There was questions why the district needed to give two days off for Rosh Hashanah, and Kamber said it has been a long-standing practice. It was debated in the committee, he said, but for many people it's a two-day holiday. They don't want kids to feel pressured they have to go to school rather than celebrate the holiday, he said.