Policy Brief

Snow's Aftermath: Calendar Crunch

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After the cleanup comes the makeup.

State and district officials in a wide swath of the nation are looking at how to deal with the days lost to unprecedented snowfalls this month that shuttered schools in Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, and elsewhere in a number of states.

Most schools in the Maryland and Virginia counties closest to the nation’s capital, for example, were closed for at least a week.

Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland’s schools superintendent, is expected to ask the state board of education this week to grant a statewide waiver of the requirement of a 180-day school year.

Districts in mountainous parts of North Carolina also have been hit especially hard this season and are appealing to state officials for relief.

The 4,400-student Watauga County, N.C., district has missed 20 days this winter, said Billie N. Hicklin, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. The district has held Saturday sessions and cut into its scheduled spring break.

Some districts in Kentucky are also near or above the 20-day mark. Districts can ask the state to waive any makeup days beyond the first 20 days, said Lisa Gross, a spokeswoman for the state education department. Kentucky officials also have been talking with vendors about expanding the testing window for schools, she said.

Northwest Arkansas has been pounded by snow this year, too, with many districts closed nearly 10 days so far. The state education department will review requests for waivers from districts that have missed more than 10 days of the required 178.

Vol. 29, Issue 22, Page 16

Published in Print: February 24, 2010, as Snow's Aftermath: Calendar Crunch
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