WASHINGTON – Parents have put family vacation plans on hold in Maryland while they wait to see how school systems will make up the snow days that piled up this winter.
In many jurisdictions, schools used nine days. But for some school systems, the harsh winter resulted in 11 snow days.
Maryland state regulations require school systems to have 180 days of classroom instruction. In order to reach that, many school systems build makeup days into the school calendar, often tacking those extra days on at the end of the school year.
In Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties, for example, school systems built in four extra days. But when they used nine snow days, that left five days to make up. Both school systems applied to the State Board of Education for a five-day waiver; both were denied.
Bob Mosier, spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, says the county filed for a second waiver asking to use the Monday after Easter, April 21, as a makeup day.
“State regulations say the schools are to be closed the Monday after Easter. So in a bit of irony, we have to get a waiver to open schools,” he says.
The waiver for Easter Monday was granted. Now the county’s own board of education must approve the change. Then, Mosier says, that would leave the last day of school on June 23, a Monday.
State law has a provision that says if a Monday is being used to make up a snow day, schools may request a waiver. School officials will do that so the year can end on a Friday instead, Mosier says.
Bottom line: by the end of the process, Anne Arundel County school officials will have asked for three separate waivers in order to close schools by Friday, June 20.
Prince George’s County Public Schools had eight snow days.
Like Anne Arundel and Montgomery Counties, Prince George’s built in four makeup days to end its school year in early June. That means they were left with four days to make up.
Like the other school systems, it asked for a waiver, and that decision is still pending.
According to the public information office, if Prince George’s County Public Schools receive the waiver, schools will let out June 11. If the system is denied, that means school would be in session until June 17.
Charles County Public Schools received a three-day waiver. After losing 10 days due to inclement weather, this means that the schools will hold classes during two days of the spring break. Kids will be back in school on April 14 and April 15.