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More Than Half Of Md. Counties Reach Snow Day Limit

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — More than half of Maryland’s 24 school districts have reached or exceeded their snow days for this season, the state Department of Education said Thursday.

Spokesman William Reinhard said in an email that Allegany, Carroll, Charles, Garrett, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset and Worcester counties all have gone beyond their built-in snow days. Frederick County made a similar announcement Wednesday, putting at least 10 districts over the limit.

Anne Arundel, Calvert, Howard and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City Public Schools say they’ve used all the snow days built into their calendars.

Reinhard said he didn’t have information from all school systems.

Districts that exceed their limit can look for ways to make up the excess days, such as extending the school year. They also can seek waivers from the state Board of Education from the requirement to have 180 days of instruction.

Montgomery County, just outside the District of Columbia, built four snow days into the calendar and took its fifth on Wednesday, spokesman Dana Tofig said. He said the local school board will decide at the end of the winter whether to seek a waiver. It’s usually easier if there’s been a statewide weather emergency, he said.

“In 2010, we had 11 snow days and received a waiver because the whole state was under a state of emergency” due to back-to-back heavy snowstorms, Tofig said.

Neighboring Frederick County said it has gone two days over the five snow days built into its school calendar. The local school board will discuss options for making up those extra days next week, the district said in a statement.

Baltimore City Public Schools spokeswoman Edie Foster said the district has used all five allocated snow days and is considering its options. They include converting professional staff development days into school days, she said.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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