3 Snow Days Waived for Wicomico County Public Schools - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

3 Snow Days Waived for Wicomico County Public Schools

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SALISBURY, Md. - Wicomico County Public Schools gets three snow days waived by the state, according to the schools' public information officer, Tracy Sahler.

Sahler said Thursday afternoon that Maryland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery notified Superintendent Dr. John Frederickson that the request of the Wicomico County Public Schools for a waiver of three missed schools days was approved, making it possible for Wicomico to end the 2014-2015 school year on Wednesday, June 17. Sahler added that the last three days of schools, June 16 - 17, will be early dismissal days.

After a winter that saw many systems delay and cancel classes because of snow and ice, the state Board of Education voted Tuesday to authorize Lowery to make case-by-case decisions on waivers from the state's 180-day requirement.

In granting the waiver request, Dr. Lowery said Wicomico has met the minimum threshold for instructional hours, and that it has modified the school calendar to make up six of the nine days missed due to weather and road conditions.

Wicomico's waiver request letter means that students will now report to class on April 7, which was previously a professional day. The approved waiver also means the school year will be extended by five days, June 11 - 17, according to Sahler.

Sahler says the Wicomico County School Board approved the following calendar revisions last month and at the March Board meeting:

-Tuesday, March 31: Early dismissal day for students, with schools dismissing two hours early for students to give teachers time for professional development work. (This had previously been scheduled as a full school day, but is now an early dismissal day.)

-Tuesday, April 7: Regular school day (Professional day on that date moved to June, after the end of the school year). Wicomico students and schools will now have a regular school day on Tuesday, April 7 to make up one missed day. April 7 had been scheduled as a professional day, with part of the day for SLOs (Student Learning Objectives). Now, teachers will have time on March 31 to work on their SLOs. Parents and guardians of students who will be absent on April 7 due to prior family plans must provide the school with written notice before April 7 for the student to have an excused absence for that school day.

-Thursday, June 11-Wednesday, June 17: Wicomico students will make up five of the nine missed school days by attending on these days, as stated on the approved 2014-2015 calendar. June 15, 16 and 17 will be early dismissal days.

-Friday, June 19: Last day for teachers

Sahler added that Bennett Middle School students will end the school year on Friday, June 5, as time is needed to relocate teachers, staff and equipment to the new Bennett Middle and to begin the decommissioning of the current Bennett Middle School.

As of Tuesday, state officials said 11 school systems had requested waivers. 

In addition to Wicomico County Public Schools, Talbot and Worcester County Public schools requested to get three days waived. Kent County Public Schools in Maryland requested one day. As of Wednesday night, Somerset, Caroline, and Queen Anne's County Public Schools did not request any days, which means they may not. Dorchester County Public Schools did not respond.
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