Howard schools trim spring break schedule in wake of winter closings

Contact ReporterHoward County Times

Howard County schools announced Thursday night that classes will be held during the second half of this year’s spring break -- on April 5, 6 and 7 -- as makeup days for inclement weather cancellations.

The school system also will hold a half-day of classes with a three-hour early dismissal on May 18, originally scheduled as a professional development day for teachers. June 18 will be used as a makeup professional development day.

June 15 is held as the last makeup day built into the instructional calendar that can be used before the school system must seek a state waiver to a requirement of a 180-day school year.

If June 15 must be used for a student day, June 19 will be added as a professional development day, according to David Larner, the district’s performance, equity and community response officer at a school board meeting.

Board of Education Chairwoman Cindy Vaillancourt said she is concerned about the high number of absences that could occur during the April makeup days if families have planned vacations and its effect on classroom efficiency.

“It’s always a worry,” she said.

School Superintendent Michael Martirano said administrators were working with state legislators on possible solutions to make up missed days if the school system exceeds five inclement weather days, including “cashing in” on the number of hours by which the school system exceeds the state’s 1,170-hour minimum per school year.

School systems across the state have been struggling to reconfigure their calendars this winter after Gov. Larry Hogan’s mandate that all school calendars start classes after Labor Day and end by June 15.

Martirano said during Thursday night’s board meeting that there were “no other options” for when to make up the inclement weather days.

“I’ve never had this much challenge in a calendar in my 13 years as a superintendent,” Martirano said.

Copyright © 2019, Columbia Flier, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad

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