Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Stance on the School Calendar

This post stems from a question I received on my Facebook Page.

"What about how to add more snow days/inclement weather days to the school calender? When we don't have enough, we have to add days to the school year. How about adding them now and if we don't need/use them school ends sooner? Just a thought."

The state requires 180 days per school year of student instruction.  We currently have four inclement weather days (we use to have 5) built into the calendar. If they are not used, they will be deducted from the end of the school year. If you look at your school calendar for the month of June, you see the four days indicated.  We had an unusual winter by any ones standards and that harsh weather caused conditions requiring the use of more than four inclement weather days.  In my ten years on the board (if my memory serves me correctly), this is the first year, other than 2002 when we had the tornado, that these four days were not sufficient.  In 2002 we applied for a waiver and was granted the waiver of making up the additional days because 1) we had a state of emergency in Charles County, and 2) it happened at the end of April (hence after Spring Break) and there wasn't any other days to use to make it up.  (all of our snow days were used). This year, we used our four snow days at the end of the year and had to make up additional days.  Even though we applied to the state for a waiver, because we still had Spring Break days to use, we were denied.

All in all, i know its unfortunate for those planning vacations, etc but our overall goal is to educate the students.  In all future calendars, the Spring Break section of the calendar will be more clearly identified as "TENTATIVE" or "PENDING". 

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