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Snow days all used up in school calendars

Baltimore-area grade school students may lose some of their spring break or summer vacation this year to make up for this winter's many snow days and canceled classes.

Maryland public school students are required to go to school for 180 days each year, so many school districts begin the school year with a calendar of 185 to 190 days, adding in the extra days they will need to meet the requirement if they close for weather-related events such as excessive heat, snowfall or ice, as they did on Tuesday.

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With multiple school closings this year, most area school districts have not only used up all of those extra days, but now must find a way to add days to the calendar.

Baltimore City, which had built in five days, has closed school seven times. School leaders have not yet discussed what adjustments will be made, according to spokesperson Edie House.

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"We are down two," she said. "I think we are trying to see where we are in March and what the next steps are."

School officials can ask the state school board to waive the 180-day requirement, but they generally do so in late March or early April after the winter weather is believed to have ended.

Baltimore County has used all of the seven days it built into its schedule, plus another one when it closed Tuesday.

"In the past, we have asked for waivers from the state, but they are not traditionally considered until later in the year," said spokesman Mychael Dickerson.

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Carroll County builds five days into its calendar and has used six. Carroll officials have already decided to add an additional day to the end of the school year, so students will go to school through June 16.

Howard County has closed two more days than the six it allotted.

Harford County students will lose three days that had been part of spring break, after school was closed for eight days so far this winter. If schools are closed any other days this winter, Harford students still will be in school on June 20.

Anne Arundel County has used up only four of the five days that were built into the calendar.

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