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Maryland Schools Try To Figure Out How To Make Up Snow Days

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Despite the light snow Tuesday, school was on for most kids across Maryland—but school systems are still facing a challenge on how to make up for all the time they’ve lost already this year.

Derrek Valcourt explains the state school board might be able to offer some of them a little relief.

The challenge is kids are required to go to school 180 days each year. Now some of the schools are asking for a waiver of that so that their kids will only have had to go to school 175 days.

Out in western Maryland, all that snow added up to a lot of time out of school. So far, Garrett County has already taken 20 snow days—the most of any district in the state—but all 24 public school systems in Maryland have used more snow days than they booked into the calendar.

Should schools be forced to make up the lost days or just have those days forgiven? Parents we talked to have mixed feelings.

“Forgiven, definitely,” said one.

“I think they should make them up,” said another.

“I really believe it should be a wash because next year we might not have any snow,” said a third.

“I think it’s important for them to make it up because it’s part of their education and they should get what they need,” said Jamahl Walker.

Tuesday, the state school board looked at that very issue, agreeing to allow school districts who have gone over their allotted snow days to apply for a waiver of up to five days. The state superintendent of schools will then have to examine each request on a case by snowy case basis.

“We have to show that they have mitigated the waiver request in all ways possible. What days are on the calendar that they could actually use before they come for the waiver for the five days?” said Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery.

Some schools, like Carroll and Harford counties, are already taking back vacation days or adding days on to the end of their school year in addition to asking for some days to be waived. Other schools, like Anne Arundel County, are crossing their fingers and asking the state to waive the maximum five days so they don’t have to make up any time.

Students in private schools are only required to be in classes 170 days a year. The state has also agreed to consider waiving up to two days for private schools on a case by case basis.

Many school systems haven’t yet decided how they’ll make up for the lost time or even if they’ll ask for a waiver.

Anne Arundel County used nine days, built four into their calendar and are asking for a waiver for the remaining five days.

Baltimore City used nine days, built five into their calendar and are already making up one day.

Baltimore County used nine days and built seven into their calendar.

Carroll County used 12 days and built five into their calendar and are already making up two days.

Garrett County used 20 days and built eight into their calendar and are already making up seven days.

Harford County used 11 days, built seven days into their calendar and are already making up one day.

Howard County used nine days and built five into their calendar.

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