The State of Maryland approved a request by Montgomery County Public Schools to waive the school days lost due to February’s snow storms. The decision means that, barring an emergency, students will be able to begin their summer vacation on time.
State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick agreed to the waiver by the school system to exempt the week of February 8th – 12th when the all schools were closed due to back-to-back snowstorms that dropped more than three feet of snow in the area.
Traditionally, the school system builds a few extra days into their annual calendar as allowance for snow and other emergency days. For the 2009-2010 year, four days were added. Since, those four days had already been used prior to the storms, the waiver was necessary.
The announcement came as MCPS was looking into alternatives to make up the lost days. Their options included extending the school day by an hour or shortening, if not completely cancelling, the Spring Break scheduled for March 29th – April 5th. While cancelling the entire break would have been the perfect panacea, the county would have done so only they had no other alternatives.
Most of the area school systems applied for and were granted similar waivers. However, they were also investigating alternatives should their requests for waiver not be approved. Almost immediately after the storms, Fairfax County informed their students that the President’s Day holiday was cancelled and school would be in session that day. They rescinded it when the Commonwealth of Virginia granted them a waiver.
So now, as the days get longer and the flowers begin to bloom, we can all look forward to the lazy days of summer.