The Department of Education will make up for the five school days and instructional time lost due to Hurricane Sandy, by taking away several vacation days and offering online classes to middle and high school students who have been severely impacted by the storm.

The February President's Day holiday week will be shortened by three days and elementary and middle schools will be in session all day on June 4, previously slated to be a half-day clerical day, the chancellor announced yesterday in a letter to families. 

Today, the chancellor said that middle and high school students who missed even more days of school because they were displaced from their schools or homes, will be offered online courses to help make up for time away from class and to help prevent "learning loss."  Online classes will be offered in English, math, economics, calculus, world history and Spanish, according to a DOE press release. The city's libraries will provide internet access to students who need it. The courses will be taught by teachers in iZone, the DOE's program which provides online tools to many schools, and others experienced in online instruction.

“Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst storms our city has seen, and through great effort, we were able to open 96 percent of our schools just one week later and relocate the students and staff from damaged buildings,” said Chancellor Walcott.  “Still, some of our families have not been able to return to their homes, and the impact on students demands more resources to ensure they get the education they need. These online courses will help keep our students on track for their academic success.”

Students can participate in the courses from any computer with internet access. To enroll, students should call 718-642-5885 or sign up at

New York State requires that students attend school for a minimum of 180 days. Before the storm forced the week long closing of schools -- and longer for a few schools most severely impacted -- there were 182 instructional days on the calendar. The adding of an additional 3.5 days brings the number back above 180. Schools will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 18 and 19, but students will return to class Wednesday through Friday.