WASHINGTON — Students in Prince George’s County Public Schools anxiously awaiting the end of the school year will have to wait just a little bit longer before summer vacation starts.
The last day of school for Maryland’s second largest school system has been pushed back by two days so the school can make up missed days from earlier in the year.
The school had been working to obtain waivers from the Maryland State Board of Education for the missed days, but recently learned those efforts would not be successful, Raven Hill, a school system spokeswoman, told WTOP.
The last day of school for students, originally planned for Friday June 9, will now be Tuesday June 13. However, schools will dismiss two hours early on June 9, 12 and 13 to allow teachers to finish year-end tasks, the school system said.
“We know that this has been an inconvenience for many families and a surprise to others,” Hill said. “We certainly understand. We apologize. But at this point, it was unavoidable.”
Text messages were sent to parents Thursday afternoon alerting them to the schedule change, Hill said.
Hill said it’s not uncommon for the school to add extra days to the school calendar to make up for missed days, although generally not this close to the end of the year school year.
Maryland law requires students to be in school for at least 180 days.
State Department of Education spokesman Bill Reinhard said school systems seeking waivers from the 180-day requirement generally have to show the state board that they’ve already made attempts to make up missed days on their own by trimming back spring break or using a professional development day.
“The board always requires local system to do something beyond simply asking for a waiver,” he told WTOP. Prince George’s school system did not alter its schedule before requesting a waiver.
One of the missed days stemmed from a late-winter snowfall and the other from the “Day Without a Woman” political protest.
The school system faced criticism from some parents for its last-minute decision to close school doors March 8 after hundreds of teachers called off work as part of nationwide “Day Without a Woman” protests. The school system CEO said 1,700 teachers and about 30 percent of the transportation staff had called off that day.