Charles Board Approves Waiver; Spring Break Days Restored

LA PLATA, Md. (March 16, 2010)—A waiver, approved by the Board of Education today, restores a full spring break to Charles County students. Schools will now be closed March 29, 30 and 31, which were originally scheduled as part of spring break but slated to be used as snow makeup days.

Superintendent James E. Richmond received notice from the state superintendent of schools on Monday that Charles County Public Schools was granted a state waiver for three of seven school days missed due to the historic snowfall in February. The school system builds four emergency days into its calendar each year, which are deleted from the end of the year if not used. All have been used this year, making June 16 the last day of school for students.

Richmond also eliminated six early dismissal days, making up 12 hours of instructional time for students. Students made up their first two hours on March 4. Other two-hour early dismissal days that are now full days for students are: Wednesday, March 24; Wednesday, April 28; Wednesday, May 26; Friday, June 11; and Monday, June 14.

Two-hour early dismissal days on April 8, May 12, June 15 and June 16 remain as early dismissal days for students.

State law requires students to attend school for 180 days as well as a certain number of hours each school year. In late February, the Maryland State Board of Education gave State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick the authority to grant up to five days for school systems closed due to severe weather and approve requests for adjustments in local school calendars. In granting the three-day waiver to Charles County Public Schools, Grasmick wrote, “Your school calendar presently exceeds the minimum state hour requirements … Further, you indicate that you have already converted six, two-hour early dismissal days for students into full days of instruction, restoring 12 hours of lost instructional time.”

Richmond also asked for, and received from the state, a conditional waiver of up to two more days to be used only if further inclement weather requires additional school closings this school year.

The Board of Education of Charles County, which sets the school calendar, voted Tuesday six to one to apply the three-day waiver to spring break.

Source: Charles County Public School System

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