MCPS Will Not Lengthen School Year To Make Up for Two Weather Closures

MCPS Will Not Lengthen School Year To Make Up for Two Weather Closures

But superintendent says additional weather closures would affect summer vacation, spring break

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The 2017-2018 school year calendar

VIA MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Montgomery County students won’t have to stay in school longer or give up any spring break time to make up for the two days their classes were canceled because of winter weather this month.

But any more closures will force Montgomery County Public Schools to start extending the school year.

In a letter posted online Wednesday, Superintendent Jack Smith shared his plan for dealing with the Jan. 4 and 17 class cancellations.

He noted the original school calendar for 2017-2018 includes 182 days of instruction, two more than the state-mandated minimum.

“Therefore, our two weather closures can be absorbed without modification to the calendar,” he wrote.

If winter weather forces additional closures, MCPS will have to start using the snow makeup days that officials built into the calendar. Education leaders would first exhaust the three makeup days at the end of the school year—June 13, 14 and 15—before cutting into spring break, Smith said. The first two days of spring break, March 26 and 27, would be the next on the chopping block if there are more closures.

Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered Maryland school districts to end classes by June 15, but MCPS can ask for a waiver if it must keep schools open past that date to achieve the 180-day minimum required by the state, Smith noted. In applying for the waiver, education officials must show they’ve already made a good-faith effort to make up for weather closures during the instructional year itself, he wrote.

Smith said if MCPS does have to lengthen the school year, June 12 will become a full instructional day, and students will get released early on the new final day.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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