School year could be extended a week in Montgomery County because of snow days

The school year in Montgomery County could be extended until June 19 -- a week longer than expected -- unless the county seeks out and receives a state waiver, officials say.

So far, Montgomery schools have been closed nine days for severe winter weather — five days more than planned when the calendar was created by the school board. State law requires at least 180 days of instruction.

Without a waiver, Montgomery would now have to tack on five extra days to the school year, which had been slated to end June 12.

That would push the last day of school to Thursday, June 19.

School officials said Friday they have started publicizing the possibility of an extended school year because they want parents to know more about the process. There are no plans to shift the schedule for spring break, which starts April 14.

“We want to make sure it’s on people’s radar screens,” said Montgomery schools spokesman Dana Tofig.

Montgomery officials say no decision will be made about applying for a state waiver until later in the year, when the snow is gone, and the state begins accepting such waiver requests.

They also said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) declared a state of emergency on two of the snow days, which may make a state waiver for those days more likely.

Donna St. George writes about education, with an emphasis on Montgomery County schools.
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