School districts are finding it hard to get snow day waivers from Maryland School Superintendent Lillian Lowery, who has quickly denied some five-day applications.
The superintendent got permission from the state board of education last month to give school districts waivers from the law that requires schools to be in session for 180 days a year. The board said she could give districts up to five days, but Lowery said that districts would have to show they had attempted to make up some of the days lost for bad weather.
For the second time in four years, most Maryland children have lost nearly two weeks of school to snow and bad weather. Without a waiver, school districts would have to schedule makeup days during spring break or tack them on at the end of the year.
Fifteen school districts in Maryland have sought waivers. Seven, including Anne Arundel and Carroll County, requested five days. Howard County originally sought four days but amended their request.
Baltimore County received a four-day waiver recently, making the last day of school Monday, June 16.
Baltimore City received a three-day waiver and the last day for students will be Monday, June 16. The city used nine snow days, four more than had been built into the calendar. The city added April 4 as an instructional day.
After initially denying a five-day waiver, Lowery granted Anne Arundel County schools a three-day waiver. The county had adjusted its calendar and gotten permission to open schools on the Monday after Easter. The last day of classes for Anne Arundel students will be Wednesday, June 18.
Lowery approved a two-day waiver for Howard County. The county had first applied for four days, but modified the request after Lowery denied other county requests. After adjusting its calendar, the last day of school will be Friday, June 20.
Carroll County received a five-day waiver from the state, after adding Feb. 18, March 31, and moving the last day of school from June 12 to June 13. School officials also turned two half-days into full days.
The last day of school in Carroll County will be June 13.
Harford County was given a four-day waiver after adding a make-up day on April 17. The county was closed for 11 school days but had seven days built into the calendar for inclement weather. The last day of school will be June 12.