School & District Management

Winter’s Aftermath Includes Lost Time

By Katie Ash — June 15, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For many students in the East, the school year is coming up a bit short because of severe snowstorms this past winter.

In West Virginia, for example, none of the state’s 55 school districts reached the state-mandated 180 days of instruction.

“This is the first year in a decade that no school districts have actually made the 180-day [minimum],” said Liza Cordeiro, the executive director of the office of communications for the West Virginia education department.

Spurred by the recent bad winter, as well as other considerations, the law that required districts in the state to start the school year on or after Aug. 26 and end by June 8 has been changed to allow more flexibility in the calendar, Ms. Cordeiro said.

Around the country, the number of instructional days school districts must provide is set by each state and averages about 180 days.

“There are a number of states that have exceptions to [instructional time] requirements for inclement weather,” said Kathy Christie, the chief of staff for the Education Commission of the States, an education policy and research group based in Denver. Whether and why districts can apply for waivers for not meeting the minimum amount of instructional time also vary, she said.

Maryland school districts were allowed to apply for a waiver for up to five days because of inclement weather, said William Reinhard, a spokesman for that state’s department of education.

Virginia’s 173,600-student Fairfax County schools received a one-day waiver, said state education department spokesman Charles Pyle.

Some states that normally do not grant waivers for inclement weather ended up reconsidering. For example, the 163,000-student Philadelphia school district received a waiver for snow days this year, said Leah Harris, the deputy press secretary for Pennsylvania’s education department.

Generally speaking, [the department] does not grant waivers because of inclement weather, she said. However, because of the vast amount of snow that Pennsylvania got statewide this year in a short amount of time, we were making some exceptions to the 180-day requirement.

A version of this article appeared in the June 16, 2010 edition of Education Week as Winter’s Aftermath Includes Lost Time


Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management From Our Research Center Nearly Half of Educators Say Climate Change Is Affecting Their Schools—or Will Soon
Most educators said their school districts have not taken any action to prepare for more severe weather, a new survey finds.
6 min read
Global warming illustration, environment pollution, global warming heating impact concept. Change climate concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion 7 Ways Principals Can Support Teachers
Listening more than talking is one vital piece of advice for school leaders to help teachers.
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
School & District Management What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
For starters, don't assume change is too difficult.
7 min read
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox hold a sign together and chant while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox participate in a Global Climate Strike at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., in September 2019.
Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP
School & District Management 'It Has to Be a Priority': Why Schools Can't Ignore the Climate Crisis
Schools have a part to play in combating climate change, but they don't always know how.
16 min read
Composite image of school building and climate change protestors.
Illustration by F. Sheehan/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty and E+)