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Snow days force changes to Maryland school calendars

Persistent cold that has enveloped Baltimore, combined with repeated winter storms over the first three weeks of January, has forced school systems around Maryland to rearrange calendars to adjust for multiple snow days.

Every school in the Baltimore area has closed for at least two inclement weather days so far this winter.

Districts across Maryland already had to crunch their calendars this year because of Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2016 mandate that all public schools start after Labor Day and end by June 15.

Baltimore City schools have closed systemwide for three days so far this year, although individual schools have experienced additional closures because of burst pipes or problems with their heating systems.

The last day of school for city students will be moved from June 14 to June 15.

Amanda Ellison, director of student and school operations support, said the district hasn’t made a final decision about which additional makeup days will be used.

“We are continuing to evaluate the impact of the makeup days and there will be an announcement on our website once the decision is finalized,” she wrote in an email.

If there are any more inclement weather days this winter, the district will trim back its weeklong spring break or apply for a state waiver.

Anne Arundel County has three days built in at the end of the school year for emergency closings. If the district closes for one more day this year, officials will ask the Maryland State Board of Education for a waiver allowing them to open on Easter Monday.

In Harford County, the snow day Wednesday pushed the last day of school back to June 12.

Howard County schools have used only two inclement weather days so far. There are a handful of potential makeup days built into the schedule for the spring. The district will make a decision on which specific days to use later in the winter, once they know the total number of days needed.

Carroll County has four more emergency closing days tacked onto the end of the school year. The more they use, the later in June the school year ends. They’ve used two days so far this winter.

Baltimore County also factored in five emergency closing days at the end of the year, which is tentatively scheduled to end June 15. The county has closed schools because of snow twice so far this year. The number of snow day closures could change what day the school year ends.

trichman@baltsun.com

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