Montgomery County school leaders have tacked on a day to their earlier request for a state waiver from the required number of school days, asking that a total of five school days be eliminated.
In a letter sent late Tuesday, Superintendent Joshua P. Starr mentioned the winter’s serious conditions and cited the cost of extending the school year: An extra five days, he said, would run $3.5 million to $4 million, reports The Washington Post.
Maryland law requires districts to have school a minimum 180 days. The brutal winter prompted Montgomery school officials to cancel classes 10 times this school year.
Earlier this week the Maryland State Board of Education voted to allow state waivers for up to five days.
As Patch earlier reported, as of March 17
Montgomery County Public Schools had called off classes ten days because of
snow. The 2013-2014
school calendar has four snow days built in, so MCPS is six
days over its allotted number of snow days.
At least five of those days will be added to the end of the school year, the district’s website says, meaning the last day of school for students would be Thursday, June 19. But the waiver request could change the end date for classes.
State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery has been givenauthority to decide waiver requests case-by-case, the Post says. Lowery said Tuesday she would act on requests quickly, but did not set a clear timeframe.
Montgomery schools spokesman Dana Tofig told the newpaper that the district would inform parents, students and staff as soon as possible of the state’s decision and the school system’s plan. “We know they are anxious to get this information, and we are anxious to give it to them,” he said.
Although MCPS has received such waivers in the past, it is not guaranteed that the district will receive one this year, the district said.