Worcester County Puts Out Plan to Make Up Snow Days - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Worcester County Puts Out Plan to Make Up Snow Days

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WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. – Pending approval, Worcester County Public Schools have a plan to make up missed snow days.

The plan is to turn a professional day in April into a half-day, ask to have three days waived, and add two days to the end of the school year extending it to June 18.

“Winter on the Lower Eastern Shore has been harsh once again. In fact, cold temperatures, along with icy and snowy conditions, are becoming the norm it seems,” Superintendent Dr. Jerry Wilson said. “Winter's treacherous conditions have precipitated the close of schools for a total of nine days to date. Without additional modifications to our calendar, the school year would extend into the fourth week of June. Making April 2 a half-day of school for students will help us recoup a lost day and shorten the extended school year.”

The school board voted to make April 2 a half-day instead of a professional day, which will make up one missed school day. That still leaves the school district with another five additional days to make up. Three were already built in at the end of the school year.

The school board directed the superintendent to seek a waiver for three days. The three school closings associated with the waiver request (February 17, February 26, and March 5, 2015) coincide with the issuance by the Maryland State Police and the State Highway Administration of Snow Emergency Plans. Snow Emergency Plans limit vehicles on Worcester roadways to those with snow chains or snow tires. If the waiver is approved, the balance of makeup days will be two.

The board also voted to extend the school year to June 18.

“If the waiver is approved by the State Superintendent of Schools,” Barbara Witherow, school system spokeswoman, said, “the last two days of school (June 17 and 18) would be half-days for all students. June 15 and 16 would be restored as full days. Having June 18 as the last day of school is contingent on the approval of the waiver request for three days.”

If the waiver request is not approved, the last day of school could be as late as Tuesday, June 23. “Of course, additional inclement weather would continue to lengthen the school year,” added Witherow. “Let's hope spring is more like a lamb than a lion!”

“When there is inclement weather that results in school closings beyond the three days built into the calendar, the calendar becomes a work in progress,” Wilson said. “The state expects us to modify our calendar where we can. Having done that, the state is usually receptive to considering waiver requests on days when opening schools was not an option.”

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