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Press Release: State Board Sets Process For School Calendar Waivers

Board Authorizes State Superintendent To Make Decisions

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

Baltimore, MD (March 24, 2015)

The Maryland State Board of Education today voted to allow local school systems to apply for waivers of up to three days from the 180-instructional day requirement, and authorized the State Superintendent to make the waiver decisions on a case-by-case basis.

The Board asked that each local system include in its waiver request an outline of modifications made to the system’s calendar to meet instructional needs of students.

“Instructional time is critically important as educators throughout the State work to strengthen student achievement,” said Dr. Charlene Dukes, president of the Maryland State Board of Education.  “But the reality is that our systems were forced this winter to make some tough closing decisions for the safety of their students and staff.  That required us to take this important step.”

No timetable has been set for decisions on the waiver requests.  Eleven school systems have already requested waivers, and others may do so in the coming weeks.

Maryland residents – and Maryland school systems in particular – have again been working through an active winter, particularly late in the season.  Many school systems exceeded the number of inclement weather days that had been built into their calendars. 

The Maryland State Board had already allowed school systems to open classrooms on holidays to make up for some of the lost instructional time.  The State has granted approval to four systems to open on the Monday after Easter, a State school holiday.

The State Board has been confronted with confounding weather before.  In calendar year 2009-2010, and again last school year, Maryland schools dug through more extreme winters than in 2014-15.  The State Board authorized the State Superintendent to waive up to five instructional days those two years.