MCPS Seeks Waiver From State for Snow Days

March 18, 2015

If needed, days will be made up at the end of the school year


Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is requesting a waiver from the Maryland State Board of Education that will allow the district to go three days below the 180 days of instruction required by state law. Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers submitted the waiver request late Tuesday afternoon (March 17, 2015). 


The 2014-2015 calendar adopted by the Montgomery County Board of Education includes 184 days of instruction, with the last day of school scheduled for Friday, June 12, 2015. The four additional days built into the calendar allow for the district to close for weather or other emergency conditions up to four times and still meet the minimum number of required instructional days. Most years, the additional four days are adequate but, in 2014-2015, MCPS has had seven snow days. 


The Board-approved calendar also includes five contingency days—June 15 through June 19, 2015—on which school will be held if MCPS closes for more than four days due to weather conditions. MCPS is prepared to follow the contingency calendar which would move the last day of classes to Wednesday, June 17, 2015. However, adding these three days will cost between $1.7 million and $2 million, mostly due to personnel costs. Given financial concerns in the county, Mr. Bowers said it made sense to seek a waiver of the three days. The Maryland State Board of Education is expected to consider the waiver at its meeting on March 24, 2015.


MCPS considered making up one day of instruction on Friday, March 27, which is not a school day for students, but is a teacher work day for grading and reporting. However, since the State Board will not consider waivers until March 24, it was not feasible to make March 27 part of the request.


Should MCPS need to make up any days this year, the district expects to follow the contingency calendar and add those days to the end of the school year.


READ: Memo to Board and Letter to State


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