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Press Release: State Board Sets School Calendar Waiver Process

State Superintendent Will Review Requests Prompted By Winter Weather

For Immediate Release                                      Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (March 22, 2016)

The Maryland State Board of Education today granted authority to the Interim State Superintendent to consider requests from local school systems for waivers of the 180-day school calendar.

Board members also granted Interim State Superintendent Jack R. Smith with the authority to allow school systems to keep schools open during State-designated public school holidays in order to recoup missed class time.

Maryland schools are required to be open a minimum of 180 days and 1,080 hours per school year at the elementary and middle school levels, and 1,170 hours at the high school level.  Local school systems develop their own calendars based on those requirements, building in snow days and vacation periods.

Local systems also determine when schools should be closed based on weather and other conditions, which can vary widely across the State.

State regulations specify two conditions for granting waivers of the 180-day calendar: that weather conditions are sufficiently severe to warrant a change, and that school systems demonstrate they have made a significant effort in providing instruction through school calendar planning and modification.

The Board today also approved a request from Prince George’s County for a two-day waiver of the 180-day requirement.  Prince George’s had four inclement weather days built into its calendar, and had made the decision to close for seven days.  The system modified its calendar by opening for classes on February 12, a previously scheduled professional development day.