Harford County Public School students could be looking at an extended school year, if more harsh winter weather or snow heads to the county.
Public schools were closed Thursday, and a code green was issued for essential employees, and will be made up on the last allotted inclement weather make-up date, which are pre-scheduled into the school year as professional development dates.
No explanation was given as to why schools, which were closed Wednesday because of the ice storm overnight, were also closed Thursday.
After two days of unsuccessful attempts to contact members of the school system's media relations department, interim Superintendent Barbara P. Canavan, reached at her home Thursday afternoon, declined to discuss the recent school closings and referred inquiries to the communications office once it opened Friday morning.
Despite reports for below-freezing temperatures and a wintry mix headed to the Harford County area Monday, Harford public schools opened, only to announce a couple hours later, around 9:22 a.m., that schools would be dismissing early.
After a regular school day Tuesday, after school and evening activities were canceled because of the impending ice storm, which closed all schools and activities Wednesday.
Seven inclement weather make-up dates were identified in the 2013-2014 school year: April 14-16 and rest in June, with the last possible day being Friday, June 13. The three days in April were scheduled as professional development days and attached to spring break for students.
According to the HCPS website Thursday afternoon, the last day of school for students in kindergarten through 11th grade is June 13; it's June 11 for pre-kindergarten students.
The Code of Maryland Regulations mandates students must have 180 days of instruction.
According to the HCPS website, if any additional inclement weather dates are used this year, waivers must be granted by the Maryland State Board of Education and "are not automatic regardless of 'State of Emergency' status as declared by the Governor during an inclement weather event."
Waivers will not be considered by MSDE until the end of the snow/inclement weather season, according to the HCPS website.
"In order to extend the calendar any further into June, the Board would have to vote to extend the school year," according to school officials.
If any more inclement weather heads to the county, the school system will request a waiver from the state board.
2013-2014 school closings, early dismissals and canceled activities
Monday, Oct. 7: After school/evening activities canceled
Monday, Nov. 25: Jarrettsville Elementary closed because of a full power outage in the building
Wednesday, Nov. 27: William S. James Elementary closed because of a full power outage in the building
Sunday, Dec. 8: All activities at schools canceled
Monday, Dec. 9: Harford County Public Schools closed
Tuesday, Dec. 10: Harford County Public Schools closed