Prince George's students have missed nine days of schools because of this year's particularly snowy winter, but a plan is in the works to make up for the lost class time.
The board already extended the school year to make up four of the nine days, so the school year now will end June 23. The board also was expected to approve a plan Tuesday night that would make up the remaining five days. Under this plan, Monday -- originally a staff development day -- will be a school day. That staff development day will now take place June 25, two days after school is dismissed for the year.
Students also will attend school April 11, originally a day set aside as a teacher work day. Student also will go to school April 21, the day after Easter.
The remaining two snow days are expected to be forgiven by the state.
"The proposed adjustment to the calendar will permit the system to meet the state-mandated instructional hours," said schools chief Iris T. Metts, who proposed the plan last week.
Maryland's public school students are required to attend classes 180 days within a 10-month period, but this year has been the Washington metropolitan area's eighth-snowiest winter, with February the third-snowiest on record. Many school districts have been hit particularly hard. In western Maryland, Garrett County students have missed more than a dozen days this school year.
Last week, the State Board of Education gave State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick the power to waive two required makeup days. For Garrett County, the board agreed to let Grasmick waive up to three days. The state board also granted school districts the authority to open on state-designated holidays.
Prince George's school officials say they plan to seek the two-day waiver. If students had not missed any other days, they would have ended the academic year on June 17. Now, they will finish the year June 23.
But with the start of spring still two weeks away, school officials are thinking ahead, already designating makeup days for any future lost instructional time.
If students have any other unscheduled days off before the end of the school year, they will make them up May 26, which is Memorial Day, or during spring break in mid-April.
3 Finalists for Schools Chief
The Prince George's County school board has narrowed its search for a new chief executive to three finalists. The finalists, whose identities are expected to be revealed today, will meet with the community Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. One candidate will be on hand to meet the public each day.
The school board, which hired the Maryland Association of Boards of Education superintendent search service, will announce its choice for the chief executive in April or May. The new chief executive will replace Iris T. Metts, who withdrew her application for a new contract last month after accepting a job with a national charter school management company.
The search firm received about 25 applications for the job, and the school board interviewed nine applicants behind closed doors. Their names were not made public. The job will pay $250,000 a year. Metts is paid about $212,000..
The new chief executive is expected to begin work in July.
Hyattsville Tops in Science
The snow delays did nothing to diminish enthusiasm for this year's Science Bowl finals. In the middle school matches, Hyattsville won its third championship, defeating Martin Luther King. The team consisted of Andrew Ferguson, Sophia Pavlos, Max Carpenter, Kyboter Betancourt and Will Dwyer. The team sponsor is teacher Dorothy Armstrong.
Semifinalists were Gwynn Park, which was defeated by Hyattsville, and Dwight Eisenhower, which was defeated by Martin Luther King. Both schools had fielded championship teams before: Hyattsville in 1996 and 1998, and Martin Luther King in 1994.
This year's competition began October with 16 middle schools.
The elementary school championship for Patuxent, Laurel, John Hanson and Glenarden Woods is scheduled for Monday. These final four contestants advanced from an original field of 40 competitors.
Science Bowl is an interscholastic science literacy contest that is in its 17th year. It can be seen on Prince George's County Public Schools' Channel 96.